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Amendments to the Mining Act

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The Executive Yuan reproposed draft amendments to the Mining Act on May 19, 2022 to safeguard indigenous rights, public transparency, and sustainable development of national resources, and to keep pace with modern changes in the economy, environment and technology. The proposed amendments will implement mechanisms to oversee environmental protection, limit mineral extraction, compensate impacted local residents, enable information transparency and public engagement, and prevent improper mining activities that cause environmental harm. These changes will facilitate the reasonable use of Taiwan's mineral resources and maintain a balance of sustainable economic, environmental and cultural development, thus advancing the well-being of society.

Six key changes

■ Strengthen mine management and extraction limits: Require the amount of mineral approved for extraction to be clearly stated on the mining permit, and restrict the overall amount that can be extracted. Strengthen regulations concerning the self-management of mines, as well as regulations and penalties regarding the post-operation rehabilitation of mining land.

■ Guarantee indigenous peoples' rights: Stipulate that indigenous peoples do not need mineral rights to extract minerals in indigenous areas for nonprofit activities based in traditional culture, ceremonies or personal use. Require new mining operations to consult and obtain consent from local indigenous communities before approval.

Enable information transparency and public engagement: Implement procedures to provide public transparency when handling mining permit applications. Add mechanisms to enable local residents to participate in the processes of mining land applications and mineral rights extensions.

Remove improper provisions: Eliminate the clause stipulating that mineral right holders may commence use of land after depositing the land price, rent or compensation. Eliminate the clause stipulating that an agency is obligated to compensate mineral right holders if it legally rejects an application for renewal of mineral rights.

Create environmental oversight mechanisms: Require mineral right holders to conduct one-time environmental impact assessments and provide plans for environmental conservation and mine closure.

Compensate affected residents: Allocate a portion of mineral royalties to compensate residents affected by mining operations and formally legalize this compensation mechanism.

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