Mineral Development Act
The Mineral Development Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 (“the 1969 Act”) vested most minerals in the Department of Commerce (now the Department for the Economy). This enabled the Department to grant prospecting licences and mining licences for the exploration and development of minerals. This licensing system is based on the provisions of the 1969 Act and on subsequent subordinate legislation. The provisions relating to prospecting for minerals are quite separate and distinct from those relating to the development of minerals. There is no automatic continuity between exploration and development work.
Exceptions to 1969 Act
The legislation covers all minerals with three main exceptions (the scheduled substances):
- Gold and Silver belong to the Crown Estate and were not vested in the Department,
- The few mineral deposits (mainly salt) which were being worked at the time of the 1969 Act were not vested in the Department, and,
- ‘Common’ substances including crushed rock, sand and gravel and brick clays are excluded.
The Mineral Development Act can be downloaded in PDF format from the links below.
- Mineral Development Act (Northern Ireland) 1969. Word document, 292kb
- Mineral Development (Application, Fees and Model Clauses) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1970-SR 1970 No 20. PDF, 1.8mb
- Mineral Development (Application, Fees and Model Clauses) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1986-SR 1986 No 152. PDF, 1.2mb
- Mineral Development (Application, Fees and Model Clauses) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1991 – SR 1991 No 74. PDF, 136kb