Planning4Minerals header
 
 Home
 Planning
  Influence of EU
 Role of central government
 Role of regional bodies
 Enviro protection/heritage
 Role of elected members
 Local communities
 Planning process
  Sustainability
 Future aggregate sites
 Commercial interests
 Planning permission
 Restoration
 Enforcing planning rights
 Environment
  Landscape
 Natural and built heritage
 Noise and vibration
 Transport and traffic
 Air quality
 Water resources
 Mineral waste
 Biodiversity
 Geodiversity
 Resources
  What are aggregates?
 Resources vs Reserves
 Location of aggregates
 Quarry design/restoration
 Aggregate process
 Aggregate testing
 Economics
  Aggregates use
 Supply and demand
 Value to economy
 Regional supply issues
 Local economy
 Transportation issues
 Links
 Glossary
 Site map
 Notes for trainers
 Downloads
   
  
Planning Process

Exploration
     
The starting point for all mineral companies in bringing a site forward is geological exploration.
 
Mineral exploration is a key factor in the forward planning process. Planning policy decisions to protect certain areas from extraction whilst encouraging extraction in other areas can have an impact on the quality of mineral that is available for extraction. The extent of mineral exploration and ultimately access to the marketplace can therefore, be constrained and influenced by the land-use planning system.

The starting point for all mineral companies in bringing a site forward is geological exploration, often referring to information published by the British Geological Survey. Once it has been established that a site is worthy of physical exploration, extensive borehole analysis and materials testing would be carried out. To carry out physical mineral exploration on third party land would first require the permission of the landowner. It is often carried out under permitted development rights granted by the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO).

Geological appraisal is not always an exact science. The anticipated yield and quality of an aggregate resource are important considerations in establishing a business case for bringing a potential site forward. The smaller the aggregate deposit, the less justification there will be for expensive processing plant infrastructure and planning costs.

Map expert

Geologists depend on knowledge and experience to tell them where to explore for mineral reserves.

  Exploration is an essential activity in determining whether a resource can be economically worked.

Exploration is an essential activity in determining whether a resource can be economically worked.

In such instances an operator may consider that an extension or a satellite to an existing quarrying operation may be more viable. If the quality of the deposit is marginal, it may require greater processing treatment, such as washing and screening that will increase processing costs and ultimately the viability of an operation.

Establishing mineral rights

If an operator has established the presence of a viable mineral reserve but the land in question is not in their ownership, they will have to complete the negotiations for the purchase or royalty arrangements with the landowner.

Typically an operator would enter into a commercial arrangement with a landowner that would involve paying an amount of money to them per tonne of mineral excavated. Some agreements are based on payment relating to every tonne over a minimum level. Such contractual arrangements can have a drastic consequence for mineral companies if their geological forecasts are inaccurate as they may be burdened in paying royalty payments over and above the quantity of mineral that they have been able to recover.



. . . more