Policy Statement on Mineral Exploration and Mining – Gov.ie

From Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications 
Published on
Last updated on
Minerals are, and will continue to be, essential to our daily lives and to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across several sectors, including renewable power generation, energy transmission and storage (batteries) and transportation.
The Government’s policy is set out in the ‘Policy Statement on Mineral Exploration and Mining – Critical Raw Materials for the Circular Economy Transition’. The Policy Statement serves as a frame of reference for policy makers, regulators and stakeholders. It sets out a framework for decision making that supports communities, the environment, the climate and the mineral exploration and mining sectors.
The policy for mineral exploration and mining is to:
The policy will be implemented over five years in accordance with a set of principles, grouped under five themes. The five themes are of equal importance and are mutually supportive. They are:
The principles reflect an intensive public consultation process and the discussions of an Advisory Group on Mineral Exploration and Mining. The members of the Advisory Group are drawn from the Environmental, Geoscientific, Industry and Social Pillars as well as Departments and Regulators. The submissions themselves and the consultation report are available at gov.ie/mineralconsultation
Some specific implementing actions have been identified in the Policy Statement. These are described in a way that will allow all the issues associated with each action to be examined in detail, and some will require further consultation with stakeholders and the public.
Policy Statement on Mineral Exploration and Mining
The Policy Statement is accompanied by an SEA Statement, which sets out how decisions were taken and the reasons for choosing the policy options, in light of other reasonable alternatives, therefore making the process more transparent.
In so doing, the SEA Statement records how the recommendations of both the Environmental Report and the Natura Impact Statement, as well as the views of the statutory consultees and other submissions received during consultation influenced the preparation of the final policy statement. The SEA Statement also provides information on the arrangements put in place for monitoring and mitigation.
Minerals Policy SEA Statement
A Natura Impact Statement (NIS) has also been prepared to inform the development of the policy statement. The NIS concluded, in view of best scientific knowledge and applying the precautionary principle, that the Policy Statement itself, either individually or in combination with other plans or projects, will not adversely affect the integrity of any European Site.
Minerals Policy Natura Impact Statement
Minerals Policy Appropriate Assessment Determination
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