Minerals Ireland

Ireland has much on offer as a mining and exploration target. It is a stable Republic with a long mining tradition, diverse geology with a wealth of mineral potential, and a highly developed infrastructure.

The Exploration and Mining Division of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is responsible for regulating minerals exploration and development in Ireland - a country where you can avail of security of tenure, simple regulatory framework, low regulatory overheads, prospecting licence issue under six months and free exploration data.

We encourage you to explore this site to find out more about the mining and exploration for minerals in Ireland.     

Prospecting Licence Competition

Ground available for application under competition is offered every three months on 1 February, 1 May, 1 August and 1 November.

The 1 August 2019 Prospecting Licence Competition will run from 1 August to 30 September 2019.

A shapefile of Prospecting Licence (PL) Areas as of 1 August 2019 is available for download.

Expert Environmental Guidance for Mineral Exploration

‚ÄčThe Department engaged environmental consultants to evaluate whether certain exploration methodologies are likely to have a significant effect on the environment.

A report for each of the main exploration methodologies was produced which outlines their likely significant effect on various Annex I habitats and Annex II species listed in the EU Birds and Habitats Directives.  The reports provide guidance on screening for Appropriate Assessment of the potential environmental impacts by the competent Public Authority (Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment) within the framework of relevant European and Irish legislation and other international conventions, based on best available scientific knowledge.

The mineral exploration methodologies evaluated are available on the Department's website.

State Mining and Prospecting Areas Map

01 May 2019: The State Mining and Prospecting Areas Map - 1 May 2019 is available for download (A0 PDF 12MB).

Minerals Development Act 2017

The Minerals Development Act 2017 was enacted on the 26 July 2017 and is due to be commenced.

Exploration Drilling - Guidance on Discharge to Groundwater

August 2019: Exploration Drilling - Guidance on Discharge to Surface and Groundwater (2019) is available for download. 


Mine Data Release

March 2017: Data from Lisheen Mine and Galmoy Mine have been made publically available.  This data includes mine closure plans, geology, groundwater and mining data.   

For further information and to download data, please click here.

Seismic Data Release

March 2017: Seismic data acquired by mineral exploration companies in Ireland has become publically available.

For further information and to download data, please click here.

Seismic Surveying and Reporting

October 2016: The draft "Guidelines for Seismic Surveying and Submission of Seismic Data to EMD" are available. 

Recreational Gold Panning in Ireland

September 2014: Update of Recreational Gold Panning Frequently Asked Questions

Economic Contribution of Mineral Exploration and Mining in Ireland

September 2013: Report on the Economic Contribution of Mineral Exploration and Mining in Ireland

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