Signing of MoU on Lease of Dolomite and Gypsum Mine between MoEA and DHI

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the “Long term lease of Khothakpa Gypsum Mine and the Chunaikhola Dolomite Mine” was signed on April 18, 2022 by the Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Mr. Karma Tshering and Dasho Karma Yezer Raydi, Chief Executive Officer, Druk Holding and Investments Limited. Officials from the Department of Geology and Mines attended the signing ceremony.

The MoU concerns the lease of Khothakpa Gypsum Mine located at Khothakpa under Shumar Gewog, Pemagatshel Dzongkhag, and the Chunaikhola Dolomite Mine located at Nyoenpaling under Phuntshopelri Gewog, Samtse Dzongkhag which are currently being operated on an interim lease by the State Mining Corporation Limited (SMCL). The Mining Lease Agreement will be signed between the Department of Geology and Mines and the SMCL leasing these mines for 15 years lease period. During the lease period, the SMCL shall pay License Fees of Nu. 3 billion (Nu. 200 million per annum) for Chunaikhola Dolomite Mine and Nu. 1.125 billion (Nu. 75.00 million per annum) for Khothakpa Gypsum Mine to the Royal Government.

The MoU is expected to promote socially responsible and environment friendly sustainable mining while contributing huge revenue to the State. Further, the MoU has the provision for other areas of cooperation for future development of the minerals and the sector with clear roles and responsibilities of the parties.

The decision to lease these mines to SMCL is based on Section 10 of the Mines and Minerals Management Act of Bhutan 1995 and Sections 27(1) and 28 of the Mines and Minerals Management Regulations 2022.