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Morocco’s development strategy aims to encourage mineral exploration

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The vast expanse of Morocco hosts a range of valuable mineral resources. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Morocco’s development strategy aims to encourage mineral exploration     

The Kingdom of Morocco has a long, rich history in the mining industry. In addition to its vast phosphate reserves, other minerals abound including copper, manganese, gold, and silver.

By Peter Finan, Managing Principal at Serus Legal   

While these mineral resources have remained largely underground, Morocco’s national development strategy aims to encourage their exploration and development, and to triple mining revenues by the year 2025.

To achieve these lofty goals, Morocco has made great strides in recent years to modernise its mining sector, including the enactment of new Mining Law 33-13 of July 2015 and its Implementation Decree in April 2016.

Investor friendly framework (Morocco’s development strategy aims to encourage mineral exploration)

The mining law is a short, investor-friendly framework that encourages participation in all stages of the mining process. In a move away from other African frameworks, Morocco requires no free-carry interest for the state, no community or local content requirements, and no requirement to sign a State Mining Agreement.

The mining law provides for various types of mining licenses, including an Exploration License (valid for 3 years, renewable once for 4 years) and a Mining License (valid for 10 years, renewable for 10-year periods until reserves are exhausted). These rights can only be held by a company established under Moroccan law.

With the exception of phosphates (which are reserved for the state), Morocco has no restrictions on international investment in the mining sector.

In addition to land royalties, mining license holders must pay an annual mining tax calculated on ‘tons extracted’. Other common taxes include a corporate income tax of 35%, or 17.5% if the product is exported. Value Added Tax (VAT) of 20% with reduced rates and exemptions for certain transactions, including the exportation of mining products.

Why Morocco? (Morocco’s development strategy aims to encourage mineral exploration)     

With its lofty goals to expand its mining industry, Morocco has taken other steps to attract foreign investment. This includes the establishment of ‘Casablanca Finance City’ which offers attractive incentives for international investors to invest and operate in Morocco, and to choose Casablanca as a gateway to Africa. With world-class infrastructure, and a thriving renewable energy sector, Morocco also enjoys an enviable geographic location giving it easy access to global markets.

Serus Legal has extensive experience working and living in Morocco. Working in French and English, Serus has advised on many of Morocco’s best-known mining and renewable energy projects in recent years. Serus manages company structuring, project acquisition, due diligence and also prepares mining agreements including royalty, JV, construction, and earn-in agreements.

The contents of this insight do not constitute legal advice and are subject to input from a lawyer.

Morocco’s development strategy aims to encourage mineral exploration

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Morocco’s development strategy aims to encourage mineral exploration     

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AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management