On 1 February 2024, the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (Minister) again amended the transitional period contained in regulation 17B of the Financial Provision Regulations, 2015. The transitional arrangements in regulation 17B of the Financial Provision Regulations allows the holder of a right or permit granted or issued, as the case may be, in accordance with the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (MPRDA), who applied for such right or permit before 20 November 2015, to continue making financial provision in accordance with regulations 53 and 54 of the regulations published under the MPRDA. Stated differently, a person who applied for a right or permit prior to 20 November 2015, is not yet required to comply with the Financial Provision Regulations.
In the previous amendments to regulation 17B of the Financial Provision Regulations, the Minister always specified a date by when the transitional period would expire and when all holders would be required to comply with the Financial Provision Regulations. However, this time the Minister has amended regulation 17B to provide that the transitional period will continue to apply until the Minister publishes a date by when all holders are required to comply with the Financial Provision Regulations.
In 2023, the majority of the provisions of the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Act, 2022 (NEMLAA), came into effect, which brought about a significant overhaul of the financial provision sections of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998. When NEMLAA took effect, it seemed that the long-awaited revision of the Financial Provision Regulations was imminent, however, with the latest extension to the transitional period in the Financial Provision Regulations, it appears that this is not the case.
Contact the Digby Wells Environmental Legal Services or Rehabilitation and Closure team to find out how these changes could impact on your business.