Mr. Creech Jones
asked the Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations whether he will make a statement about the development of mineral rights in the Bamangwato reserve in Bechuanaland.
§ Mr. Alport
A mineral concession has been granted by the Bamangwato Tribe to a Bechuanaland Protectorate Company in the Rhodesian Selection Trust Group called "Bamangwato Concessions Ltd.". This concession, which has been approved by my noble Friend, gives the new company exclusive rights to prospect and explore for all minerals, except diamonds, oil and substances such as soil and stone, in the Bamangwato Reserve for a period of up to ten years.143W
In the event of mineral discoveries of economic significance, mining rights may be exercised by Bamangwato Concessions Ltd. or by any mining companies formed by it for this purpose, for periods up to ninety-nine years. During the period of exclusive exploration rights the company will pay the tribe at the rate of £3,000 per annum. This is apart from the rental of approximately £2,000 per annum payable to the Bechuanaland Protectorate Government under the Mines and Minerals Proclamation. Any mining company that is formed will pay the tribe a royalty of 15 per cent. of the excess of sales revenue over production costs as defined.
The concession provides that the Company and any mining company subsequently formed will, in so far as they consider reasonably practicable and consistent with the efficient carrying out of their operations, train members of the Bamangwato Tribe, and employ and provide opportunities for the advancement of those members who acquire the appropriate standards of skill and are in other respects suitable for employment 144W and advancement. The concession also provides that the companies shall, in administering and carrying on their business, use their best endeavours to procure good relationships with their employees and act in accordance with the best traditions of good management.
The Company has also arranged with the tribe that, on the formation of a mining company under the concession, the tribe shall, without cost to themselves, acquire a 15 per cent. shareholding interest and be entitled to nominate two directors of the mining company.