Natural Resources

Exploration and Mining Division

Latest News

May 1st 2015 Prospecting Licence Competition

May 1st 2015 Prospecting Licence Competition open from Fiday 1st May until 30th June 2015

Competition Evaluation Criteria - Forms

Ireland Ranked 1st out of 122

The Fraser Institute’s 2014 “report card” to governments on the attractiveness of their mining policies’, explains that ‘While geological and economic considerations are important factors in mineral exploration, a region’s policy climate is also an important investment consideration. The Policy Perception Index (PPI), is a composite index, measuring the overall policy attractiveness of the 122 jurisdictions in the survey. The index is composed of survey responses to policy factors that affect investment decisions.

'Ireland is the top-rated jurisdiction for policy factors this year with a score of 96.0’. Last year’s ranking was No 4 out of 112 jurisdictions.

Ireland’s ranking for investment attractiveness at No 11 compares with the ranking of No 19 last year.

Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2014

Six Monthly Report to the Oireachtas -

The report by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources for the Six months ended 31 December 2014 is available at the following link.

Six Month Report to Oireachtas July December 2014.pdf

Gold Panning FAQ

Gold Panning FAQ New Recreation Gold Panning Frequently Asked Questions Published. Updated September 2014.


Exploration Drilling - Guidance on Discharge to Groundwater

The draft guidance document is now available - Guidance_Exploration_Drilling_Final Draft.pdf. Deadline for Comments is now closed.

Assessment of Economic Contribution of Mineral Exploration and Mining in Ireland - 29th September 2013

Minister O'Dowd publishes an assessment of the economic contribution of the exploration and mining sector to the Irish economy. The report and media release is available at Assessment of Economic Contribution of Mineral Exploration and Mining in Ireland

About Exploration and Mining Division (EMD)

The Exploration and Mining Division (EMD) is a line division of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. EMD is the key reference point for the exploration and mining industry, available for advice and assistance from arrival in Ireland through to the opening of a mine. Enquiries from the general public on all matters relating to minerals regulation are also welcome.

Our remit includes:

  • Regulation and permitting of exploration for and extraction of minerals (excluding petroleum, stone, sand, gravel and clay);
  • Promoting inward investment in minerals exploration;
  • Policy development in the area of minerals exploration and extraction;
  • Representing and protecting the State's interests as mineral owner. The State owns an estimated 60% of all minerals and the exclusive right to work all minerals regardless of ownership (with a few minor exceptions) is vested in the Minister.
  • Rehabilitation of former mine sites where the Minister has an acknowledged role.
  • This site explains the role of EMD, the regulatory framework associated with mining and exploration, and industry background in general. For more technical information and to apply for a Prospecting Licence please visit our industry website
Last Updated:09/06/2015
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources29-31 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2, Ireland
Tel +353-1-6782000 Fax +353-1-6782449
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