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All minerals in Botswana belong to the state. Exploration or mining in Botswana is carried out on the basis of a license issued by the Ministry of Water, Energy & Mineral Resources.

Botswana: Obtaining an Exploration License

An exploration license in Botswana is issued for 36 months & can be extended two times (24 months each). The area for which a license is issued mustn't exceed one thousand square kilometers. If, by the end of the 7-year period, the license holder announces that they’ve  located minerals but not yet completed their assessment, their license may be extended.

It’s also possible to obtain a license providing its holder with a right to reserve a specific area for subsequent exploration & mining of minerals in Botswana. The license is granted for two periods, each of which mustn’t exceed 36 months.

A license holder has a right to:

  • start exploration in Botswana within 90 days or an additional period;
  • conduct exploration work in Botswana as per the issued license;
  • notify the relevant authorities about the discovery of a mineral within a month from the date of its discovery.

The holder of an exploration license cannot, without written permission, export any minerals from the mining area (except for analysis, evaluation or testing purposes). Cancellation of an exploration license is impossible, even if its requirements aren’t met.

The holder of an exploration license may, at any time, but not later than three months before its expiration, apply for an extension. Upon expiration of the license, the rights granted to its owner are terminated, and they must leave the area for which the license was issued.

Botswana: Obtaining a Mining License

Anyone wishing to obtain a mining license in Botswana can get one by applying to the relevant ministry. The owner of a mining license has a right to carry out mining operations on the surface & underground, install equipment & erect structures.  They can also transport, enrich, process, smelt & refine extracted minerals. License holders can sell minerals found within the mining zone & dispose of all resultant waste.

A mining license is valid for the period required for mining (but not more than twenty five years).

Botswana: Obtaining a Gas & Oil Production License

Two licenses can be issued, the first of which (i.e. an oil exploration license) must be issued prior to issuing an oil production license. After issuing a mining license, the government has the right to acquire a stake in an oil company (not exceeding fifteen percent). If the government chooses to exercise its right, one special share will be issued to it entitling it to appoint up to two directors (and their deputies) & receive dividends.

A mining license in Botswana mustn’t be transferred without permission of the relevant ministry.


Owners of mining concessions in Botswana are required to pay the following royalties:

  • gems - ten percent;
  • precious metals - five percent;
  • other minerals - three percent.

Considering registering a mining company in Botswana? Need advice on mining regulation in Botswana? Why not contact IQ Decision UK?