A mine for a scheduled mineral in Ireland is subject to obtaining three separate State authorisations:
planning permission from the relevant local authority
an integrated pollution control (IPC) or industrial emissions (IE) licence from the Environmental Protection Agency
State Mining Licence / Lease / Permission from the Minister of this department
All mining for scheduled minerals requires either a State Mining Lease under the Minerals Development Act 1940-1999
for minerals in State ownership, or a State Mining Licence under the 1979 Act
for privately owned minerals, both of which are issued by the Minister.
A State Mining Permission can be issued for very small tonnages of State-owned minerals for limited periods of time, but this procedure is rarely used. These three permits are collectively referred to as State Mining Facilities (SMF). The Minerals Development Act 2017 was enacted on 26 July 2017 and is due to be commenced.
Applicants must hold a valid Prospecting Licence or existing SMF over the area of interest to commence mining. The application fee is charged as set out in S.I. No. 259 of 1996 - Minerals Development Regulations, 1996.
Support information will vary with each application; therefore applicants are advised to consult with this department.
SMFs are negotiated on a case by case basis as required by Section 26 of the Minerals Development Act 1940 - 1999, which also applies to Licences under the Minerals Development Act 1979 (see Section 17 of the 1979 Act).
adherence to best practice
ensuring full extraction of the minerals
prevention of subsidence
proper rehabilitation of the mineral workings and financial terms including royalties
Compensation must be paid to private mineral owners where working such minerals is licensed under the 1979 Act.
Before a SMF is issued, applicants must include a detailed, costed closure plan. The costs associated with closing down and rehabilitating a mine have to be covered by the operator of the mine, taking into account any long-term, residual, active or passive care which might be necessary, including monitoring and inspection.
These detailed closure plans guarantee that the mine and the tailings management facility (TMF) site are left in an acceptable condition protecting public health and safety, minimising the risk of contamination and, where possible, allowing for the productive use of the land or creating a stable environment.
The application procedure is to send in a formal letter applying for a State Mining Lease or Licence, stating what minerals are being applied for, accompanied by a map showing the area, and the appropriate application fee as set out in S.I. No. 259 of 1996.
Send this to:
Principal Officer, Exploration and Mining Division, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, 29-31 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2, D02 X285.
Whilst the information that will be required to support an application may vary somewhat in individual circumstances, and applicants are advised to consult the Exploration and Mining division, a generic list of what is required can be found in the following documents:
Departmental requirements for information to be submitted with a mining lease/licence application:
Mining Lease Licence Base Metal Requirements
Requirements for information to be submitted with a Mining Lease/Licence Application (Base Metals)