Prospecting Licence

A Prospecting Licence is required prior to the physical search for minerals, precious metals or mineral specimens.

See below an overview of the process for applying for a Prospecting Licence.

  • Prerequisites +

    Intending Applicants for a Prospecting Licence need to obtain a copy of the appropriate standard form for lodging such an Application and must have proof of having paid the appropriate fees from the Ministry of Finance and Treasury.

    The Applicant must also be able to prove the following :

    • That they have adequate financial resources and technical competence and experience to carry out effective reconnaissance operations
    • That the proposed prospecting program is adequate for the prospecting

    Applications for a Prospecting Licence are lodged to the Director of Mines who, upon being satisfied that the Application meets requirements, will pass the Application and his/her recommendation to the Board of Mines and Minerals for their decision.

    pdf Application Form (317 KB) Mines & Minerals Board Contact the Director of Mines


    The Board may require a Prospecting Licence Holder to deposit a specified sum or enter into a bond or guarantee with the Director of Mines for due performance of his obligations in accordance with the provisions of the pdf Mines and Minerals Act (369 KB) .

    The Director of Mines will refuse any Application where the Applicant already holds 3 or more Prospecting Licenses's and has no extant or pending Mining Lease.

  • Application Requirements Checklist +

    Applications for a Prospecting Licence must be made using the approved application form which shall require that specific information is provided to the Director of Mines. In some cases the Mines & Minerals Board may impose requirements other than those listed in the standard application form and the Mines and Minerals Act. Applications that are lodged that do not meet the threshold requirements will not be considered. 

    The following information must be provided as a requirement of a standard Prospecting Licence Application :

    • Applicants name and contact details as required by form (registered entities must also provide their registration details and full details of directors and stakeholders who are own more than 5% of the issued capital and any other person who controls the entity)
    • Evidence that they have adequate resources, technical competence and experience to carry out the proposed prospecting activity
    • Description of the area being applied for in accordance with the Universal Transverse Mercator Grid, together with details of the plan
    • A report with details of an evaluation of the mineral prospects in the area and a copy of any relevant Reconnaissance Permits
    • Details of the minerals that the Applicants intends to prospect for
    • Details of the proposed reconnaissance programs expected time frame
    • A proposed work program which includes estimated direct costs and the names and qualifications of all individuals who will be in charge of the program
    • A proposed program for the acquisition of Surface Access Rights and the names of all individuals who will be in charge the program

    The Applicant must also be able to demonstrate the following :

    • Details of the Applicants intentions regarding environmental protection
    • Any additional information that the Director requires
    • Evidence of payment of application fees

    The Director may require an Applicant to amend an Application.

    The Board may call for tenders for a Prospecting Licence over a specified area - all tenders must also fulfil all the above requirements.

    pdf Mines and Minerals Act (369 KB) Mines & Minerals Board Contact the Director of Mines

  • Director Submits Application to Board +

    If the Mines and Minerals Board determine an Application to be acceptable a Letter of Intent will be forwarded to the Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification for his signature along with the minutes of the Board meeting.

    The Applicant will be notified of the status of their Application, whether their Application was approved or not.

    Applications that wholly or partly overlap with a pending or an existing Prospecting Licence or Mining Lease will be refused.

  • Board Decision +

    The Mines & Minerals Board will consider whether received Applications meet established requirements (the Board may require other factors which may be deemed relevant).

    The Board may impose security or compliance bonds as it sees fit.

    The Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification will notify the Attorney General and the relevant Provincial Secretary of the Prospecting Licence.

    The Director of Mines will notify Applicants of the status of their Application.

  • Prospecting Licence Conditionally Granted +

    If the Mines and Minerals Board accepts the Application the Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification will issue a Letter of Intent (or "LOI") to issue the Prospecting Licence, subject to an agreement on land access being made.

    If an Application is approved by the Board, the Director of Mines will give the landowners 30 Days to appoint a representative to the Prospecting and Mining Committee (PMCC) and a copy of the Prospecting Licence will be sent to the relevant Provincial Secretary. Licenses are encouraged to consult the Ministry to determine the necessity and status of this task.

    Contact the Ministry

  • Surface Access Agreement Signed with Landowners +

    When the Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification has granted an Applicant the Prospecting Licence the Licensee, in consultation with the Director of Mines, must come to an agreement with all landowners for access and make arrangements for payments and appoint trustees.

    A meeting must be arranged to be held in 'Principal Villages' in which either the Director of Mines or a representative of the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification must be present. To expedite this process, the Ministry can assist Applicants with arranging this meeting.


    For areas in which agreement is reached between the Licensee and landowners, the agreement must be reduced to writing and a copy of the agreement must be provided to the Director of Miens to be forwarded to the Attorney General for comment prior to execution.

    Partial: where the Applicant is able to secure an agreement with only some of the landowners, the Board may excise the area for which there is no agreement or extend the negotiation period.

    Whole: where the Applicant is unable to secure an agreement with any landowners, the Board may extend the negotiation period or decline the application.

    The Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification will issue approved Prospecting Licences for areas over which the agreement reaches in the specified form.

    A Trust Account will be established by the Director of Mines for the landowners.

    Landowners who intend to lodge a complaint must do so within 30 days after the meetings.

    If a landowner feels that they have not been consulted during this stage of the licensing process, it is important that they contact us to let us know as soon as practicable.

    Contact the Ministry

    The Director of Mines will also inform appropriate Provincial Secretaries and will provide them with a copy of the issued Prospecting Licence.

  • Minister Issues Prospecting Licence +

    The Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrifications will monitor the performance of issued Prospecting Licences to ensure their validity and to ensure that Licensees remain compliant.

    Licence Renewal: To Renew existing Prospecting Licences, Licensees are required to lodge an application to the Director of Mines as per standard practise.

    Licence Transfer: the Director of Mines is responsible for the approval of requests to Transfer Prospecting Licences.

    The Director of Mines can raise issues related to non-compliance with the Mines & Minerals Board, which can in turn make a recommendation to the Minister to Suspend, Cancel or Surrender a Prospecting Licence.

    Mines & Minerals Board

  • Notes for Licensees +

    Licensees are required to meet all relevant business licence requirements relevant for the tenement.

    Visit Solomon Islands Business Registry Website

    Licensees are required to comply with their Obligations (work programme, records and reporting, fees and compensation), and to deposit performance bonds and/or guarantees.

    Licensees must provide deposit bond and/or guarantee as required in a Solomon Islands commercial bank in favour of the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification.

    Licensees must pay access fees and compensate any damages as required. Landowner-related fees are either to be paid to the Director of Mines or directly to the Landowners Trust Account after notifying the Director of Mines - details included in a Damage Report are an accepted form of notification.

    An EIS or PER must be submitted to the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM).

    Visit the MECDM Website

    Renewal: Licensees must make an Application for renewal of their Prospecting Licence before it expires to the Director of Mines.

    The Director may raise any cases of non-compliance with the Board, which can in turn make a recommendation to the Minister.

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