Ukraine’s government has improved the legal framework to more precisely define the relationship between executive authorities and businesses extracting mineral resources in an effort to to increase the investment attractiveness of the mining industry and to develop domestic deposits, the Information-Analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine informs.

To this end, the Cabinet has endorsed a draft updated the Mineral Resources Code, which was drafted by the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources. The document contains a number of provisions designed to improve subsoil use and expand business opportunities.

The first version of the Mineral Resources Code was approved in 1994 during a period of economic instability. At the time, there was no supporting legislation, a coherent system or strategic vision for exploiting Ukraine’s mineral resources.

Legal conflicts arose as a result of inconsistencies between conflicting rules and regulations. There were many redundant provisions in different pieces of legislation regulating the use of mineral resources in Ukraine. This is contrary to the generally accepted European practice, which has proven effective.

Experts from the Environment Ministry cite the experience of European countries, which use unified systemic regulations to regulate subsoil extraction projects.

Ministry experts said current Ukrainian legislation prohibits the alienation of mineral rights, including their use as deposits or contributions to a joint activity in the organization of business. Currently existing economic and social conditions of the industry demonstrate the urgent need to consider market-based mechanisms for this sector of the economy, because business entities associated with the use of mineral resources are, as a rule, resource driven.

The new version of Mineral Resources Code must take into account the latest trends for the development of entrepreneurship. The Cabinet proposes to introduce a competitive procedure for obtaining the right to exploit subsoil deposits. Winners of tenders will be selected by a special commission, which will include representatives of the central government, local government and community organizations.

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