Exploration and Mining are regulated in Ireland under the Minerals Development Acts 1940 -1999. Exploration and mining is undertaken by the private sector.
The Acts, deal with definition of minerals, mineral ownership, prospecting licences, State Mining Leases etc. The Minister has the exclusive right to work privately owned minerals and provides for permitting of the working of those minerals by third parties, subject to payment of compensation to mineral owners. Clarification is given on State ownership of certain minerals and addresses the transfer of the right to compensation. Renewals of Prospecting Licences and application fees for State Mining Facilities are also addressed. Part 9 of the Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006 contains provisions relating to the rehabilitation of lands affected by former mines, and for the compulsory acquisition of lands for the purposes of such rehabilitation.
Regulations relating to these Primary Acts is available under Secondary Legislation.