chapter 1- exploration
executive of any type of mineral exploration works by the public, cooperative and private (iranian / foreign) sectors shall require obtaining exploration license from the ministry of mines and metals.
the maximum area of each exploration license shall be forty (40) square kilometres.
note 1: the area of the exploration license must not exceed six (6) square kilometers for first category mineral substances and four (4) square kilometers for decorative stones.
note 2: in special cases, a greater area shall be determined for exploration with the approval of the minister of mines and metals.
the period of validity of the exploration license shall be one year as of the date of issue.
note: this period shall be extended in the case of second category mines, as the case may be, upon the discretion of the ministry of mines and metals.
all natural and juridical persons applying for exploration license must submit the applications thereof to the ministry of mines and metals as per the related form which shall be placed at the disposal same by the said ministry enclosed with the related documentation and maps against receipt.
note 1: first category mineral substances and decorative stones exploration license applicants shall be obligated to specify the type of mineral substance applied for in the application form.
note 2: natural persons subject of this article must have attained the age of maturity.
the application received shall be registered by the ministry of mines and metals specifying the hour and date of receipt, and the receipt thereof presented to the applicant.
note: the ministry of mines and metals shall be obligated to record the time and date of receipt of the application on a copy of the maps submitted by the applicant and to place same at the disposal of the applicant forthwith following seal and signature.
following verification of conformity of the area applied for with the related original map, should the area applied for be entirely or partially free, the free part of the area subject of application shall be recorded in the name of the applicant by the ministry of mines and metals observing the purport of article ii of the mining act and the specifications of the registered area shall be notified to the applicant within a maximum of seven (7) work days.
note: free area is an area, which has not been assigned for execution of exploration or exploitation activities.
the exploration applicant shall be obligated to undertake performance of the following within a maximum of two (2) months as of the date of notification of registration of the area and to forward them together with related documentation to the ministry of mines and metals. otherwise, the rights pertaining to acceptance and registration of the application for issuance of exploration license shall be extinguished and the area shall be again deemed free:
a. completion and presentation of letter of undertaking in connection with execution of exploration works in accordance with technical principles and due observance of the criteria and terms of the ministry of mines and metals.
b. nomination of the technical expert in charge of the works.
the ministry of mines and metals shall undertake action with respect to placement of markers (in the presence of the applicant or the representative thereof and the technical expert of the works) and examination of the papers and documents presented within a maximum of two (2) months as of the date of receipt of the documents subject of article 7 of the by-laws, with due observance of the provisions of article 24 of the mining act, and issue the permit for compilation of the exploration plan in the name of the applicant in case of absence of discrepancies.
note: the applicant shall be obligated to undertake compilation of the exploration plan within the framework of the directives provided by the ministry of mines and metals within a maximum of two (2) months following placement of markers, otherwise the right of priority thereof shall be extinguished.
the ministry of mines and metals shall study the exploration plan, and in case of need for inspection the area of the plan undertake action toward dispatch of an expert to the location. should the plan be in conformity with the criteria of the present by-laws and the related directive, exploration license shall be issued in the name of the applicant within a maximum of twenty (20) days. in case of discrepancy in the exploration plan, the applicant shall have a maximum respite of one (i) month to remedy such discrepancy.
the holder of the exploration license shall be obligated to execute exploration works in the operational area thereof within the respite provided in accordance with the provisions of these by-laws, the approved exploration plan and general regulations.
the ministry of mines and metals may undertake macro and regional studies in connection with identification of mining potentials through utilization of advanced exploration technology. should preliminary exploration studies in tile region result in the finding of mineral substance or substances requiring systematic and more extensive exploration works, action must be taken in the following manner:
a. where the region is free and the ministry of mines and metals wishes to undertake action directly or through subsidiary organizations or affiliated. governmental companies, exploration license shall be issued with due observance of the provisions of the by-laws.
b. where the region encompasses the area of the mining works of natural or juridical persons in such manner that continuation of works would hinder the activities thereof, exploration of the region shall be assigned to the holder of the operations license by the ministry of mines and metals. in such case the necessary plan for continuation of works must be prepared and exploration works started by the said operations license holder within period of six (6) months, otherwise the ministry of mines and metals shall decide on continuation of exploration works with observing the rights of the holder of the operations license.
note: mining works comprise of exploration, equipping, extraction and ore dressing.
each natural person may hold one exploration license at a time. juridical persons may hold a number of licenses in case of approval of the technical and financial qualifications thereof by the ministry of mines and metals.
the exploration license shall be transferable only once during the period of validity with due observance of the provisions of these by-laws and approval of the ministry of mines and metals. the transferee shall be committed and obligated to perform all the obligations of the transferor.
note: legal representatives of persons, such as banks, to whom the rights attached to the exploration license are transferred automatically, may in any case utilize the privileges of this article.
following completion of exploration works with due observance of the provisions of these by-laws, the explorer shall be obligated to prepare a comprehensive report pertaining to finalization of works, duly signed by the individuals preparing the various parts thereof, and to submit same together with the following documentation and information to the ministry of mines and metals against receipt:
a. the volume of surface and sub-surface exploration works executed, such as road construction, building construction, earthwork and excavation, digging of trench, sump, well, exploration tunnel, etc., stating expenses incurred.
b. the amount of explosives and materials used, such as wood, iron and the likes thereof, stating costs thereof.
c. costs of preparation of maps, tests and expert services.
d cost of ore dressing and processing tests, industrial tests and other expenses.
e. the final report of the works, including the type or types of mineral substances, proved and possible amount of reserve, average grade of the mineral substance discovered and the related documentation in connection with the manner of reserve calculation method thereof enclosed with all the maps and results of sample analyses.
f. th initial techno-economic feasibility study report and the results thereof within the framework of the forms provided by the ministry of mines and metals.
in case of non-submission of the report of finalization of exploration works by the holder of the exploration license within the respite provided, the exploration license thereof shall be cancelled and the ministry of mines and metals shall bear no obligation against expenses incurred.
in cases where the exploration license is cancelled due to deficiency of the works and incapability of the exploration license holder or due to any other reason, and from the expert standpoint the continuation of works is deemed exigent, the ministry of mines and metals may, with due observance of the provisions of the by-laws of government transactions, complete the exploration works by selection of subsidiary government organizations and companies or other natural and juridical persons and issue discovery certificate in the name of the selected agent in case of discovery of mine.
note: the selected agent shall be obligated to pay for the related expenditures borne by the exploration license holder at current prices.
following receipt of the report of completion exploration works, the ministry of mines and metals shall verify conformity of the report of the works executed by same with the provisions of these by-laws through study of the said report and dispatch of a technical expert group within a maximum of two (2) months, and in case of approval issue a discovery certificate in the name thereof.
note 1: the area stated in discovery certificate shall comprise of locations wherein exploration works have been executed in accordance with the provisions of these by-laws and the existence of economic mineral deposits in the said area confirmed. upon issuance of discovery certificate the remainder of the area of the exploration license shall be rendered free.
note 2: should exploitation of each of the substances explored be independently feasible, a separate discovery certificate shall be issued for each mineral substance within specific area with due regard to the amount of the reserve and technical and economic computations with respect to exploitation,
note 3:where exploration works do not result in the issuance of discovery certificate, the discovery certificate shall be automatically cancelled and the holder thereof shall have no further rights,
note 4:where the discovered deposit is not deemed sufficient by the ministry of mines and metals for issuance of discovery certificate, the said ministry may issue short- term exploitation permit for the proved deposit discovered which is approved by the said ministry, in such case, royalty shall be collected in accordance with the provisions of these by-laws.
should the report or exploration works prove deficient following checking the conformity thereof with the provisions of these by-laws, a respite shall be determined by the ministry of mines and metals for rectification of it by the holder of exploration license. in case of non-rectification of the deficiency by the end of the said respite, the exploration license shall be cancelled and no privilege shall be deemed for the holder thereof.
in case the holder of the discovery certificate wishes to assign the said certificate to another, the application thereof together with the agreement of the parties and full particulars of the assignee must be submitted to the ministry of mines and metals prior to expiration of the respite provided in article 7 of the mining act. the said ministry, in case of approval, shall agree with the assignment of the discovery certificate and announce the agreement thereof for compilation of the document instrument of conveyance or assignment. the date of compilation of the document shall be deemed the official date of assignment of the discovery certificate and the assignment shall be obligated to present a copy of the said document to the ministry of mines and metals for recording of the assignment.
transportation of mineral substances derived from exploration works by the holder of exploration license for necessary tests shall be permissible with the authorization of the ministry of mines and metals and payment of royalty.
note 1:the amount of sampling for various types of mineral substances shall be determined by the ministry of mines and metals.
note 2: following completion of exploration works, the explorer may extract and transport the mineral substance or substances derived from exploration works with the authorization of the ministry of mines and metals and payment of royalty in accordance with the provisions of these by-laws.
the holder of the discovery certificate shall be obligated to submit the application thereof for issuance of exploitation license, with due regard to the discovery certificate issued and studies undertaken in connection with the extraction potential of the mine from the technical and economic aspects, to the ministry of mines and metals in accordance with the provisions of these by-laws and directives of the ministry of mines and metals within the respite provided in article 8 of the mining act.
note: in case of non-submission of exploitation application in time by the holder of the discovery certificate, the ministry of mines and metals may undertake designation of holder of exploitation license for the mine in accordance with the provisions of the mining act and these by-laws and to pay the rights of the mineral deposit explorer in accordance with the provisions of the note to article 8 of the act in the manner stipulated in these by-laws.
where, in execution of the provisions of article 8 of the mining act, mine exploitation license is issued in the name of a person other than the holder of the discovery certificate, the designated holder of exploration license shall be obligated to satisfy the holder of the discovery certificate prior to start of exploitation works in accordance with the provisions of the note to article 8 of the mining act. should the designated exploitation license holder fail to satisfy the holder of the discovery certificate within a period of six (6) months, the ministry of mines and metals shall decide the matter based on the opinion of an official expert of the justice administration.