The Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources has amended the “Instructivo para las Etapas de Exploración y Explotación de las Concesiones Mineras, Negociación suscripción de los Contratos de Explotación Minera” (Instructions for the Exploration and Exploitation Stages of Mining Concessions, Negotiation of the Mining Exploitation Agreements). Ferrere Abogados has prepared this bulletin on said amendment.  

The Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources issued Ministerial Agreement No. MERNNR-MERNNR-2020-0018-AM on March 27, 2020, through which the following is mainly agreed:

  1. Expand the scope of the Instructions for changes of the period of a mining concession that do not necessarily imply the signing of mining exploitation contracts.
  2. Increase the term in which the request must be submitted to the Sector Ministry to proceed to the advanced exploration period. This term is 60 days before the conclusion of the initial exploration period. It also indicates the requirements that said request should include.
  3. The requirements to request the extension of the economic evaluation period are established. This process was not previously regulated.
  4. By means of a transitory provision, it is established that the concessionaires who have requested the change of phase prior to the promulgation of this document, regarding the terms, will be able to benefit from said process as long as it does not go against the previous rule.