Natural Resources

Exploration and Mining Division

Latest News

Exploration Drilling - Guidance on Discharge to Groundwater

The draft guidance document is now available for comments or a three month consultation period - Guidance_Exploration_Drilling_Final Draft.pdf. Comments should be sent to before close of business on 1st July 2014.

Ireland Ranked 4th out of 112

The Fraser Institute's, Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2013, ranks Ireland 4th out of 112 jurisdictions with Sweden first this year (on the Policy Potential Index, overall ranking of the survey) compared to 6th out of 96 jurisdictions in 2012; 9/93 in 2011 when we broke in to the top ten; 16/79 in 2010; 17/72 in 2009; and 26/71 in 2008.

Demonstrating Ireland's attractive policy regime for potential exploration and mining companies.

press release

Fraser Institute: Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2013

Avoca Remediation Project

CDM Smith Ireland Ltd has been appointed consultants to provide design, procurement and project management services for remediation works at the former mine site at Avoca, Co. Wicklow. A planned programme of essential health and safety works will be identified and undertaken over the three years - 2014 to 2016.

Six Monthly Report to the Oireachtas -

The report by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources for the six months ended 31 December 2013 in accordence with Section 77 of the Minerals Development Act, 1940 and Section 8 of the Minerals Development Act, 1979 has been laid before the Oireachtas and is available at the following link.

Six Monthly Report to the Oireachtas y/e 31 December 2013

February 1st 2014 Prospecting Licence Competition

February 1st 2014 Prospecting Licence Competition open from Saturday 1st February until 31st March 2014

Competition Evaluation Criteria

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

Environmental Monitoring at the Former Mining Areas of Silvermines (Co. Tipperary) and Avoca (Co. Wicklow).

CDM Smith Ireland Ltd are undertaking ongoing environmental monitoring at Silvermines and Avoca. It is intended to publish the 2013 report in 2014.

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:02/04/2014
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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