Exploration Licensing Process

Scheduled Minerals

As under the 1940 Minerals Development Act

Alum Shales Felspar Monazite
Anhydrite Fireclay Nickel, Ores of.
Antimony, Ores of. Flint and Chert Oil Shale
Apatite Fluorspar Platinum, Ores of.
Arsenic, Ores of. Ganister Potash Mineral Salts
Asbestos minerals Gem minerals Quartz Rock
Ball Clay Gold, Ores of. Radioactive Minerals
Barytes Graphite Refractory Clays
Bauxite Gypsum Rock Phosphates
Beryl Iron, Ores of. Rock Salt
Bismuth, Ores of. Kaolin Roofing Slate
Bitumens Laterite Serpentinous Marble
Calcite Lead, Ores of. Silica Sand
Chalk Lignite Silver, Ores of.
China Clay Lithomarge Strontium, Ores of.
Chromite Magnesium, Ores of. Sulphur, Ores of.
Coal Magnesite Talc and Steatite or Soapstone
Cobalt, Ores of. Manganese, Ores of. Tin, Ores of.
Copper, Ores of Marble Titanium, Ores of.
Corundum Mercury, Ores of. Tripoli
Cryolite Mica Tungsten, Ores of.
Diatomaceous Earth Mineral Pigments Witherite
Dolomite Molybdenite Zinc, Ores of.
Dolomitic Limestone

Mineral/Commodity Grouping:

Applicants for Prospecting Licences may apply for specific commodities such as gold, zinc, gypsum, barytes, and other ‘minerals’ listed in the Schedule to the Minerals Development Act, 1940. In addition, exploration companies may also apply for particular commodity groupings that frequently occur together in mineral deposits. Examples of such groupings include base metals, Platinum Group Metals (PGMs), Rare Earth Elements (REEs) and gem minerals.

In the context of Irish minerals regulation, the Exploration and Mining Division (EMD) considers that:

  • Base Metals includes the following commodities and their ores: zinc, lead, copper, nickel, cobalt, manganese, cadmium, molybdenum, vanadium, chromium, tantalum, tin, tungsten, gallium, indium, thallium, bismuth, arsenic, antimony, tellurium and germanium.
  • Platinum Group Metals includes: platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, osmium and ruthenium.
  • Rare Earth Elements includes: scandium, yttrium, lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium and lutetium.
  • Gem Minerals are those minerals which when cut, polished or otherwise modified, may be used to make jewellery or other decorative adornments. Examples include diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald, aquamarine, topaz, peridot, tanzanite and opal.

  • Applicants should note that they must complete an acceptable exploration programme for ALL minerals that are listed on a Prospecting Licence. If it appears to the Minister that a licensee is not adequately exploring for certain minerals, the Minister may revoke the licence in respect of such minerals.

    Mineral Oils and Natural Gas are listed as Scheduled Minerals under the 1940 Minerals Development Act.  These minerals are now regulated under the Petroleum Minerals Development Act 1960, which established separate arrangements for regulation of petroleum exploration and development.  These are administered by the Geoscience Regulation Office, Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.    

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