Consultation opens on Draft Policy Statement on Mineral Exploration and Mining


The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications has opened a consultation on a Draft Policy Statement on Mineral Exploration and Mining.

The goal is to put in place a clear and sustainable policy framework that supports our communities, our environment, our climate and our mineral exploration and mining sector.

This Draft Policy Statement includes the ban on new prospecting licences, mining licenses or leases for coal, lignite and oil shale, in accordance with the Circular Economy Bill 2021.

It covers a range of issues relevant to the mineral exploration and mining sector, such as:

  • the role of minerals in our transition to the circular economy and to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions;
  • the regulatory framework that governs mineral exploration and mining;
  • how the sector contributes to the achievement of other national, EU and international policies.

The key principles include - robust regulation; increasing awareness and participation; sustainable development; building capacity and access to knowledge and international co-operation.

The key priorities include - building public understanding and trust; enhancing the regulatory framework; research on the role of minerals in the transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; better data enhancing policy and decision-making and monitoring, review and reporting.

A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and an Appropriate Assessment (AA) have also been carried out on this Draft Policy Statement. They form part of this consultation.

Further information can be found at

The closing date for receipt of submissions is 15th October 2021.