Since 2017, the Ministry of Energy and Mining, the Executive Branch, and the Dominican Republic Congress have been discussing a new mining law to update Law No 146-71. This new regulation would be necessary because the current rules are insufficient to face the mining industry's technological advances. Consequently, it would be required to establish a legal system promoting inclusive sector development and competitive and environmentally sustainable industry.
The main changes proposed by this new regulation are:
- To introduce the concept of strategic minerals to refer to minerals with commercial value. These minerals would have to be expressly declared strategic by a Decree issued by the State. The proposal emphasises rare earth elements as an example of these types of minerals;
- To endow regulatory and sanctioning powers to the Ministry of Energy and Mines;
- To introduce a new mining rights system made up of three regimes: licenses, concessions, and special contracts;
- To establish that part of the contribution received from mining’s taxes and royalties would benefit the respective local government;
- Require a Mining Closure Plan.