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Amended Mining Act will strengthen citizen influence, economic prospects and environmental aspects

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 23.3.2023 15.34
Press release

The President of the Republic approved the amendments to the Mining Act on 23 March 2023. The amendments will give local residents more influence and increase business prospects and environmental considerations.

By improving local residents’ opportunities to exert influence, the new Mining Act will contribute to the acceptance of mines. A prerequisite for granting a mining permit is a plan approved by the municipality. More consideration must also be given to other sources of livelihood in the area. 

“We are experiencing a major energy transition that aims to achieve a more sustainable future. The amended Mining Act is part of this transition. At the same time, the new Act will give local communities more decision-making power and prevent unnecessarily large reservations,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.

The changes will result in additional costs and administrative burdens for mining operators, but they may also balance competition within the sector. Stricter and more specific regulation clarifies the rules and therefore benefits the operators in the sector. A new reservation fee is estimated to discourage operators from reserving unnecessarily large exploration areas, which in turn will improve the competitive position of other companies. 

The prerequisites for extending the validity of an exploration permit will be tightened to strengthen the position of property owners and to reduce the harm experienced by area residents. In order to strengthen national security, an exploration and mining permit will not be granted if the activity is considered to endanger national defence, security of supply or the functioning of infrastructure essential to society. The right to obtain information will improve with the introduction of annual open public events.

Issues related to landscape, biodiversity and environment will play a more important role in permit consideration. The new Act will also tighten regulation on securities and termination of mining activities. The gradual closure of a mine will be taken into account better than before during the mining operations, and the mine’s final closure will be carried out responsibly. 

The Act will enter into force on 1 June 2023.

Riikka Aaltonen, Senior Adviser, Mineral Policy, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel.  +358 295 064 216 
Tuula Manelius, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 064 909
Hannes Torppa, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 295 047 405

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