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Amendment of Mining Law – Strategic Deposits

Our mining law experts inform that the President of Poland signed an amendment of the Geological and Mining law, which is aimed, among others, to increase the protection of mineral deposits and introduce a category of strategic mining deposits.

Strategic mining deposits which will be subject to special legal protection due to its importance to the economy or national security.

Mining Law Amendment – Reasons

The mining licensing authority of Poland – i.e.  Minister of Climate and Environment – indicated that the key goal of the amendment is to:

  • strengthen the protection of deposits of the most significant importance to Poland, and
  • increasing availability / releasing the lands where it is currently impossible to conduct mining activities. The Minister at the same time stressed out that that the new legislation will not result in expropriation without justified compensation and will not limit the planning authority of municipalities.

According to the justification, the law is intended to fill the existing legal gap in the protection of mineral deposits and aims to introduce legal instruments related to the green energy transition, accelerating decarbonization, and at the same time is intended to put in order the regulations governing activities carried out under the Geological and Mining Law, streamline the activities of mining supervisory authorities and the state geological service.

Strategic mining deposits of Poland

One of the more significant changes is the introduction of a definition of “strategic deposit”, “strategic mining deposit” in the law. According to the government, this shall justify the special place that strategic deposits will now occupy in the hierarchy of national mineral deposits.

Which deposits will be considered as strategic?

Recognition of the deposit as strategic will take place on the basis of a decision by the Minister of Climate and Environment, who will at the same time maintain a list of strategic deposits. Qualification of a deposit as strategic will bring certain benefits to the potential mining license holder.

Disclosing strategic deposits in planning documents

The new legislation introduces instruments to ensure greater efficiency when it comes to the disclosure of mineral deposits in planning documents by municipalities and provinces.

Obligation to protect strategic deposits

It also introduces an obligation for municipalities to establish a ban on permanent development or other development of areas of strategic deposits in a way that would exclude the possibility of developing a strategic deposit in the future.

Entry into force

The updated Mining Law was signed by the President of Poland on September 1, 2023. Most of its provisions enter into force within 30 days of its publication, except for certain provisions for which the law provides for a later effective date.

Author team leader DKP Legal Michał Dudkowiak
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