In South Africa, The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (MPRDA) requires that authorization is granted by the State to prospect or mine. Although the MPRDA is the primary governing law, authorization in the form of an Environmental Authorisation (EA) is also required in terms of the National Environmental Management Act 1998 (NEMA) and most often a Water Use Licence (WUL) is required by the National Water Act 1998.

A Prospecting Right (PR) is a permission granted by the State through the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR). It grants the applicant the authority to prospect (by means of invasive or non-invasive methods) for specific minerals within a given area. A Mining Right (MR) is a permission granted by the state through the DMR which gives the applicant the authority to mine for specific minerals by specific means within a given area.

For both prospecting and mining activities, an application for the authorization of the activity must be lodged at the office of the Regional Manager of the DMR, in the region and the area the proposed operation is situated in prior to the granting of a PR or MR. GCS has the experience and expertise to advise exploration and mining companies in this regard, as well as the expertise to compile such applications in compliance with the provisions of the MPRDA for submission to the DMR.

Once a MR application has been provisionally accepted by the DMR, the NEMA environmental impact assessment process is initiated to obtain the EA. This may involve the full spectrum of specialist assessments, impact assessment, impact mitigation determination, management plan development, project management and authority and public consultation in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations of 2017. A WUL under the National Water Act may also be required.  GCS has the expertise to guide mining and exploration companies through this process, to ensure that application is made in the correct manner for the full suite of authorisations required to commence with the project.