Located in the Indian Ocean, the island of Mauritius was created by volcanic activity. Therefore, the mining of ores here has its own unique features due to the volcanic origin of the island. Several decades ago, the mining of coral sand in Mauritius was carried out by miners and boat owners on the north and east coast of the island. The mined coral sand was used mainly as a raw material in the construction industry. However, twenty years ago, the country's authorities banned the extraction of this rare and valuable resource.
Exclusive rights to subsoil
Today the Government of the country has all exclusive rights to minerals. Therefore, foreign businessmen wishing to start a mining business in Mauritius are only allowed to conduct exploration operations with his written permission.
Under the Mauritian Subsoil Law, the Industrial Minister himself is the administrator of the mining permit issuer in the jurisdiction.
A permit from the Minister grants the right to explore for minerals on the island of Mauritius. This includes prospecting for minerals in Mauritius, which also includes such work as is reasonably necessary in order for the permit holder to verify the mineral properties of the land.
The government has the exclusive right to onshore or underground exploration for minerals. No one is allowed to conduct exploration or development of minerals in Mauritius until rules issued by the highest authorities of the country are prescribed. It does not matter whether you are the owner of a piece of land or not. On behalf of the government, the Minister may authorize reconnaissance operations on or under any land, and the authorization must be in writing only.
Obtaining a license for oil and gas production on the Island of Mauritius
The exploration and production of oil and gas in Mauritius is governed by the Petroleum Law, which requires oil to include any mineral oil or hydrocarbon. An exploration and production license for oil in Mauritius grants exclusive rights to conduct exploration work in the territory specified in the license.
Lease of land plots for mining is granted only in relation to the area that was included in the exploration license and in which oil was found. It grants the lessee exclusive rights to explore and produce oil and related substances in the territory included in the lease.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the terms of any exploration or mineral lease may include:
- royalties or other payments that must be paid if you intend to produce oil on the Island of Mauritius, obtained in the exercise of the rights granted by a license or lease for areas where this production takes place;
- the rent that must be paid for the area included in the license or lease;
- work commitments attached to the license or lease;
- method for measuring oil obtained from the area specified in the license or lease;
- instructions regarding drilling, location and plugging of wells, prevention of harmful working practices, prevention of interference with other activities or areas included in the license or lease;
- provision of information through returns, reports, notifications, plans and records of transactions carried out under license or lease;
- the conditions under which the license or lease may be terminated.
Mauritius has a partial exemption regime under which 80% of the specified income is exempt from income tax.
The exemption is granted to all companies in Mauritius other than banks and applies to the following income:
- dividends from foreign sources and profits attributable to a foreign permanent establishment;
- interest and royalties;
- income from the provision of these financial services.
IQ Decision UK specialists have provided a brief overview of the basic information regarding mining activities on the territory of Mauritius. We provide comprehensive legal assistance to businesses wishing to register a company for exploration and production of minerals in Mauritius. Reach out to us by filling the feedback form below.