A country’s mining policy climate is one of the critical drivers of exploration investment. In light of this, licensing is regarded as the means of optimally managing competing interests in the exploration and development of non-renewable resources through the existing legal and regulatory framework.
This research assesses Sierra Leone’s exploration licensing regime within the context of the measures taken to mitigate and/or prevent speculation. It will also provide a deeper understanding of the notion of speculation and its drivers in the mining industry. As well as the context in which such measures have been crafted in the regime and applied in practice. With the ultimate objective being, to measure such provisions against the analytical framework, in respect of “best practice, as well as to identify potential gaps.
The methodology adopted for this research involves desktop analyses of Sierra Leone’s current exploration licensing regime, based on recommendations from expert institutions and opinions on mineral exploration, policy, and regulations. It discusses four critical factors of an analytical framework, from which the respective mitigation measures are evaluated.
The outcome of the research shows that Sierra Leone’s exploration licensing regime generally demonstrates an aspiration towards “best practice” in exploration licensing. However, the ultimate test of its efficacy invariably lies in strict and consistent adherence to the “equality before the law” and “good governance” principles. These principles form the bedrock upon which the four critical factors of the analytical framework was established. Against this background, the research proves that these principles have been breached in some instances, thereby encouraging speculation to thrive, and possibly impeding the development of the country’s mineral sector.
Mini Dissertation (MPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2019.