Bill No. 33-13 relative to the mining code now awaiting approval by both Houses for its entry into force. As expected, the new code was approved by the Governing Council on 17 July.
This project, in the works for several years to upgrade the existing legislation dating back to 1950 (Dahir of 16 April 1951) and compensate for the failures that have persisted despite several amendments to the text previously aims. It also aims to adapt the Moroccan legislation to developments in the mining sector at the global level, as pointed out by the Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment, Abdelkader Amara, when presentation of the draft text of the Governing Council.
The goal is to allow the sector which gives 10% to GDP to entirely play its role in the national economy through the development of exploration and mining research to promote new discoveries and sustainable development of regional and national mining industry. The new code, the minister said, is part of the reforms and measures to enhance the performance of the mining sector and enhance the attractiveness vis-à-vis domestic and foreign investment. Several key measures have been introduced by the new law, including the extension of the scope of the mining legislation in other minerals for industrial use such as calcite, feldspar, magnesite, perlite except materials of construction and civil engineering. The new code is also marked by the introduction of the prospecting license to mining companies with the ability to operate in areas of large areas ranging from 100 to 600 km2.
Prospecting area can reach 2,400 km ² maximum. And that’s not all; the upgrade of the legislation is also reflected in the extension of the mining title to all products of mines instead of a class determined as is currently the case. It results further by the introduction of new licenses for the exploitation of underground caverns for the storage of natural gas and the operation of dumps and heaps. Similarly, the new code allows the extension of the validity of the mining license and its renewal until depletion.
Note also the beginning of provisions connecting to the research of environmental impact and abandonment plan to protect and keep the environment and guarantee sustainable development. To highlight that the policy of development of the mining sector, announced in 2013, aims by 2025 to triple turnover to more than 15 billion dirhams, the 10-fold volume of investment in the exploration and mining research almost 4 billion dirhams and doubling employment to more than 30,000 additional direct employments