My department is currently preparing a Policy Statement on Mineral Exploration and Mining in Ireland. The policy statement will seek to underline the importance of the sector and the role that it has in: - transitioning Ireland and the European Union to the circular economy and net–zero greenhouse gas emissions;
- supporting primary and secondary economic activity and associated jobs creation; and
- progressing many of our national, European, and international policies and commitments.
The draft policy statement is undergoing Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). In this regard, an SEA Scoping Report was published on 24 May, 2021 (available on www.gov.ie ) inviting submissions from the wider public as part of a non-statutory consultation. A public consultation on the draft policy statement itself is scheduled for later in the summer.
The sector is subject to robust and transparent regulation, including in terms of environmental protection. The activity of mining requires, inter alia , obtaining a planning permission from the relevant local authority; an Integrated Pollution Control or Industrial Emissions Licence from the EPA and a State Mining Facility from my Department.