Earth's Crust Act

Last updated: 10 December 2023

Passed in 2016, the Earth's Crust Act aims to ensure sustainable and economically efficient use of the earth's crust and to reduce environmental nuisances arising thereby to the greatest extent possible. The Act regulates exploration and extraction of mineral resources, permitting and resource rights, recordkeeping and prevention of environmental threats. 
Under the regulation, the Ministry of the Environment may only allow activities affecting the condition of the earth's crust provided they are carried out with as small adverse impact as possible on the environment, human health, well-being and property. Chapter 4 of the Act covers mining rights and provisions related to extraction, including soil protection requirements, safety requirements for mining and the submission of mining plans and extraction data. Chapter 5 of the Act covers obligations related to reclamation of explored land and land disturbed by extraction.
The holder of the exploration or extraction permit is responsible for the reclamation of the land during a technologically reasonable period of time; this obligation extends after the expiry or revocation of the permit. The permit holder shall also prepare a report concerning the reclamation of the land. In order to reclaim land explored by exploration or extraction, any pits, boreholes or other infrastructure related to the work shall be liquidated or adjusted to the environment of the location. When depositing mining waste back in the workings, permit holders must ensure the physical stability of the workings, prevent soil and water pollution and ensure that the workings are monitored. 

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