Home Economy FG increases mining rates, decries non-remittance

FG increases mining rates, decries non-remittance

by Business News Report

The federal government has increased the rates and charges for all activities in the mining sector. Dele Alake, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, disclosed this while briefing journalists on the new charges on Thursday in Abuja and expressed concerns over non-remittance by some operators. Mr Alake said mining operators were making huge amounts of money but refused to remit to the federal government. “This is to position the sector for economic consolidation by announcing a new regime of rates and charges for various services of the department and agencies of the ministry,” said Mr Alake.

The minister said the development was due to the introduction of qualitative measures being implemented in recent times. He added that it would raise the level of services, improve transaction traffic, and develop infrastructure. He said the mining sector involved the Mining Cadastral Office (MCO), the agency responsible for licensing, which acquired the new mining information system, the Electronic Mining Cadastre System, and the EMC+ portal. Mr Alake said the system would also encourage more interest and boost participation in the sector, thereby giving the stakeholders confidence to invest in the sector. He said that the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) had acquired an integrated database accessible to the public. Mr Alake said there were about 268 items in the rates regime. “The major highlights are as follows: under the new regime, investors applying for a mining lease license will pay N3 million, while Small Scale Mining Lease (SSML) applicants will pay N300,000 for the first two cadastral units.

“The cost to obtain an Exploration Licence (EL) is N600,000 for the first 100 cadastral units,’’ Mr Alake said. He listed others as a Quarry lease and reconnaissance permit, which attracted N300,000. “The new rate, which affects 268 items in the industry, includes an annual service fee of N31,500 for the first time. Also, N260,000 for a Small Scale Mining License (SSML), N500,000 for a Quarry Lease, and N1,250,000 for firms operating with a Mining Lease. Following the renewal of licences, the rates for the respective categories will be N42,000,” he said. Mr Alake also listed an exploration licence, N420,000, for an SSML, N1.5 million for a mining Lease and N1 million for a quarry lease. According to Mr Alake, the new regulations seek to maximise royalties from critical minerals like lithium and gold to boost the nation’s revenue base and contribute significantly to economic development.

“In the new rates regime, lithium ore lepidolite at the current market value of N600,000 per tonne attracts an N18,000 royalty per tonne. Kunzite, with a current market value of N3 million per tonne, attracts a N90,000 royalty per tonne, while lithium ore spodumene, with a current market value of N316,667 per tonne, attracts an N9,500 royalty per tonne,’’ he said. He said the rates review also affected the MCO and the NGSA services. According to the minister, the new rate regime will take immediate effect. NAN

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