On 9 March 2012, the Vietnamese Government issued Decree No. 15/2012/ND-CP ("Decree 15") detailing the implementation of a number of articles in the Mineral Law.
For information about the Mineral Law, see Mayer Brown JSM's Legal Update: "Vietnam's 2010 Mineral Law" of 14 March 2011.
Decree 15 comprises 6 chapters and 46 articles on:
Decree 15 does not regulate the principles, conditions and procedures for auctioning mineral mining rights. Those areas are covered in Decree 22/2012/ND-CP dated 26 March 2012 ("Decree 22"). For information about Decree 22, see our previous Legal Update: Decree on Auctioning Mining Rights.
We set out below the key provisions of Decree 15.
Export of minerals
Repayment of the costs of gathering information on mineral exploration
Decree 15 stipulates that the costs of basic geological surveys of mineral resources and mineral exploitation should be reimbursed by the user of such information.
Payment for information relating to surveys assessing mineral capacity is made in accordance with the following principles:
Preparation of mining master plan in localities
The preparation of the master plan on exploration, mining and use of minerals in a province and city under central authority must be in line with the national mineral strategy and the local master plan on socio-economic development.
The exploitation and use of minerals must be carried out in a reasonable, economical, efficient manner while maintaining technological progress and safeguarding cultural relics and the environment.
Selection of an entity for issuance of a mineral exploration license
In principle, the issuance of mineral mining rights must be conducted via auction, which is governed by Decree 22. Decree 15 regulates the selection and licensing of organisations or individuals for mineral exploration in geographical areas not subject to auction of mineral mining rights.
The criteria for such selection and licensing are as follows:
If more than one of the applicants satisfies all of the additional conditions, the applicant which lodged its dossier the earliest will be chosen.
Extension of a mineral mining license
No later than 45 days prior to the expiry of the mining license, the investor must lodge an application for an extension (including a report on results of its mineral mining operation) with the competent body.
Responsibilities of the State regulators
The competent authorities to receive application files for licensing mineral operations, for approval of mineral reserves, and to close mines are stipulated as follows:
MONRE has the main responsibility to coordinate with the Ministry of Finance in determining the method of calculating and collecting fees for issuance of mineral mining rights, and for managing and using the fees collected.
Decree 15 took effect on 25 April 2012.
For inquiries related to this Legal Update, please contact Orsolya Szotyory-Grove or your usual contacts with our firm.
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