Exploration Licensing Process

Exploration Licensing Process

Exploration is done through a Prospecting Licence (PL) that gives the holder the right to explore for specified minerals over a certain area. Only licence holders are considered for Mining Facilities to develop such minerals within the licence area.

A Prospecting Licence typically covers some 35 sq.km. the boundaries of which typically follow Ordnance Survey of Ireland townland boundaries.

No permit is necessary for work of a regional or reconnaissance nature. To safeguard your interest, a Statement of Interest over available ground can be made prior to any Prospecting Licence application. You will be notified by EMD if a prospecting licence application is subsequently made in the area, and given two weeks to make your own application, on a competitive basis.

To apply for a Prospecting Licence you must send the following documentation:

  1. Prospecting Licence Application Form
  2. Application Fee of €190 per Area
  3. If the area has never been licenced before a Map of the desired area


All applications are processed on a 'First come - First served' basis (except for competition ground) and if an application is successful the applicant will recieve a letter of offer stating the terms of the Prospecting Licence.

Before a Licence is finally issued the proposed licence must be advertised in local newspapers. This allows anyone with concerns about exploration 21 days to submit any issues both positive and negative for consideration before granting the Prospecting Licence.

A Prospecting Licence is normally issued for six years, with the option of renewal if the holder has met the requirements. During a licence period two reviews are undertaken to ensure Exploration programmes meet the conditions of the Licence. These reviews require Licence Holders to submit Exploration reports for the previous two years work. These reports must also be accompanied by a Confidential Work Summary Form and a Statement of Qualification Form

After six years before the licence is due to expire. A company may apply to extend the lifetime of a licence by submitting a Prospecting Licence Renewal Application Form. If the Licence Holder does not wish to renew the licence the Licence Holder must submit a Prospecting Licence Expiry/Surrender Form.

If a Licence is allowed to expire or is surrendered the Licence Area be entered in the next available Prospecting Licence Area Competition.

Forms may be downloaded from http://www.mineralsireland.ie/OnlineServices/Forms.htm

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