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Draft Mine Community Resettlement Guidelines Drawn Up

December 5, 2019

Department of Mineral Resources and Energy

5 December 2019

Draft Mine Community Resettlement Guidelines have been published for comment.

The mineral resources and energy department published the proposed guidelines in Government Gazette 42884.

The Resettlement Guidelines are designed to outline the “process and requirements to be complied with by an applicant or a holder of a prospecting right, mining right or mining permit when such application or right will result in physical resettlement of landowners, lawful occupiers, holders of informal and communal land rights, mine communities and host communities, from their land”.

The guidelines also refer to existing prospecting rights, mining rights or mining permits where incremental project expansion will result in the displacement or resettlement of landowners, lawful occupiers, holders of informal and communal land rights, mine communities and host communities.

The Guidelines also allow for the development of a Resettlement Plan, Resettlement Action Plan and Resettlement Agreement.

A Resettlement Plan is a broader consultative document which is concerned with project description, impact analyses, costs and budgetary considerations and consultation mechanisms; A Resettlement Action Plan is a document that lists what steps must be taken in order to achieve the goals set out in the resettlement plan and a Resettlement Agreement serves to record in full all the commitments made by a mining right holder in the Resettlement Plan and the Resettlement Action Plan.

Issues covered in the resettlement guidelines include fundamental principles for resettlement, meaningful consultation, obligations of an applicant or right holder, resettlement and compensation, mine community resettlement plan, dispute resolution mechanisms and review of the resettlement guidelines.

Fundamental principles for resettlement include meaningful consultation, gender equality, protection of existing rights, conditions relating to meetings and avoid and minimize.

As regards compensation, compensation rates should be determined based on the local context and current full replacement values.

Elements that may be included in a resettlement plan include project description, impact analysis, meaningful consultation, implementation schedule, costs and budgetary implications, institutional arrangements and approval and declaration.

In a statement, the department has announced that the comment period for the Draft Resettlement Guidelines has been extended to 31 January 2020 due to the original comment period of 30 days after date of publication affected by the festive season.

The extension also applies to draft amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Regulations published in Gazette 42870 for comment.