The necessity to change the provisions of the Geological and Mining Law regarding disclosure of a deposit in planning acts
The current provisions of the Geological and Mining Law implement the necessity to disclose in the studies of the conditions and directions of spatial development of communes, in local spatial development plans and in voivodship spatial development plans, documented mineral deposits and documented groundwater.
As far as the study is concerned, this obligation has been clearly sanctioned in the regulations. In the event that the commune does not disclose its deposits within 2 years from the date of approval of the geological documentation by the competent geological administration authority, the legislator has envisaged issuing a replacement decision in this regard by the competent voivode. Such decision has the same legal effects as a study of the conditions and directions of spatial development of a commune. However, an analogous obligation has not been introduced in the case of local spatial development plans, probably due to the large costs associated with the municipality’s procedure of changing it. The lack of regulation in this area, however, often results in the blocking of many mining investments and, above all, those on the surface, already at the stage of applying by investors for obtaining a decision on environmental conditions. Failure to introduce a documented local deposit to the provisions of the document results in the fact that land, which in reality should be intended only for exploitation of minerals, has a different purpose, often excluding mining activity. Consequently, there is a refusal to issue the proposed decision on environmental conditions. This decision, however, is one of the basic annexes to the application for granting a concession for extracting minerals from deposits. Its lack prevents the investor from taking any further actions to obtain a concession.
It is to be hoped that the legislator will see this serious problem that many investors are currently facing and the obligation to disclose documented deposits will be extended also in relation to the provisions of the local spatial development plan. It seems that the solution to the situation could also be to allow changes in local plan on the basis of initiative of the investors themselves, who would cover the costs of such proceedings. In this way, the process of changing the plan would be much faster, which would improve the acquisition of all administrative decisions necessary to start the planned mining activity.