Minerals are an essential raw material for the construction industry and for power generation. Northern Ireland is underlain by extensive deposits of economically valuable minerals. These minerals have been worked in Northern Ireland for centuries and there continues to be a strong demand for them
Minerals exploration makes an essential contribution to Northern Ireland’s prosperity and quality of life. The mineral extraction industry provides employment often in rural areas and produces a wide range of products for a variety of purposes in construction, agriculture and industry.
Within Northern Ireland there are nearly 600 occurrences of economic minerals and approximately 1800 abandoned mine workings, mostly dating from the last century. The bulk of mineral commodities, which are largely natural sand, gravel and crushed rock aggregate plus rock for cement manufacture, are mostly obtained through quarrying.
Increasingly, however, there is a recognition that mineral working can have a significant impact on the environment and quality of life.
The Planning Service is the Minerals Planning Authority for the Province. In determining planning applications for minerals development, Planning Service, is required to balance the need for minerals against the need to protect the environment.
The Planning Service also deals with other matters relating to minerals, such as monitoring sand and gravel and hard rock sites; enforcing planning conditions and formulating policies specifically related to minerals development.
For further advice or guidance on the role of Minerals Planning you can contact the team using the link below: