FAQ – Mining

Mining Unit Frequently Asked Questions

1.      What are the overall responsibilities of the Mining Unit?

The Mining Unit is responsible for:

  • The facilitation of the exploration of minerals within Belize;
  • The promotion of the development of mineral resources;
  • The processing and issuance of Mineral Rights.

2.      Under which section of the law is the Mining Unit governed?

The Mining Unit is governed by the Mines and Minerals Act Chapter 226, Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000 – 2011.

3.      What are the different types of Mineral Rights that are issued by the Mining Unit?

The different types of Mineral Rights are:

  • Quarry Permits;
  • Mining Licenses;
  • Prospecting Licenses;
  • Exploration Licenses.

4.     What are the requirements to apply for a Mineral Right?

The following documents are required for the issuance of a Mineral Right:

  • Completed Application Form;
  • A  Mining/Development Plan;
  • A map of the proposed site;
  • Land tenure documents;
  • Survey of the property;
  • Letter of authorization in the event that the land is owned by someone else.
  • Supplementary Documents may also be requested.

5.     What activities can be conducted under an issued Mineral Right?

Activities that can be conducted are dependent on the type of Mineral Right, however, these activities may include:

  • Prospecting/Exploration activities;
  • Open Pit Mining;
  • Alluvial Mining;
  • Dredging.

6.      How long does the Mineral Right issuance process usually take?

Subsequent to the submission of the necessary documents, and the completion of the on-site inspection, a Mineral Right can be issued as early as two (2) weeks once the requirements have been satisfied.

7.      What is the cost of obtaining a Mineral Right?

The cost of a Mineral Right varies and is dependent on the scope/objective of the proposed operation.

8.      Why would I need a Mineral Right?

A Mineral Right is required by any individual that wishes to partake in the exploration, development and extraction of mineral resources within Belize.

9.      Are Mineral Rights automatically renewable?

Mineral Rights are NOT automatically renewed; renewal is dependent upon the performance of the operator and the status of the mineral deposit.

10.      How long does a Mineral Right last?

  • Quarry Permits expire on December 31st of any year;
  • Mining Licences can last from a period of 2 to 20 years or the life of the Mineral Deposit;
  • Reconnaissance Licences are issued for the period for which the licence is granted, not exceeding 1 year;
  • Exclusive Prospecting Licences are issued for the period for which the licence is granted, not exceeding 3 years.

11.      Who is in charge the Mining Unit?

The Inspector of Mines is responsible for the Mining Unit.

12.      What is the penalty for conducting mining operations without a valid Mineral Right?

  • In the case of an individual, a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or  imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both such fine and term of imprisonment
  • In the case of a body corporate,  a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars.