The legislation is different for different mineral resources. Minerals that are deemed particularly essential to society are called concession minerals and are subject to the provisions of the Minerals Act. Most metals belong to this category. For other minerals (‘landowner minerals’) except energy peat, the provisions of the Swedish Environmental Code apply. For energy peat, the Certain Peat Deposits Act applies.

The Minerals Act

The Minerals Act encompasses specially designated valuable mineral substances, known as concession minerals. Our Swedish bedrock has a great geological potential for these minerals, but despite this, economically mineable deposits are difficult to find. Finding and extracting them requires special skills, a lot of capital and, particularly for exploration, access to large areas of land. Therefore, in Sweden, those who have the prerequisites to explore or mine a mineral deposit are granted a permit to do so under the Minerals Act, regardless of who owns the land. In the event of several interested parties, the Minerals Act also has the important function of determining which one should be given priority access to the deposit and the right to extract it.  

The role of the Mining Inspectorate of Sweden

The Mining Inspectorate of Sweden is an organisational unit at SGU whose role is to process matters concerning exploration and extraction of minerals. The Inspectorate is headed by the Chief Mining Inspector who decides on matters falling under the Minerals Act.

Read more about the Mining Inspectorate of Sweden (new window)

Permits for exploration and mining

It is the Chief Mining Inspector who issues exploration permits. This is regulated in the Minerals Act. The Minerals Act also regulates who should have exclusive exploration rights and extraction precedence.

To mine a deposit it is necessary for the Chief Mining Inspector to issue a permit called an exploitation concession. This is also regulated in the Minerals Act. In addition, a permit is also required under Chapters 9 and 11 of the Swedish Environmental Code. This permit is granted by the Land and Environment Court. Other permits may also become relevant depending on the deposit's surroundings.

You can read more about the regulatory framework surrounding exploration and mining activities on the Mining Inspectorate of Sweden website.

Legislation for other minerals except energy peat

The issuing of permits for other minerals except energy peat is regulated in the Swedish Environmental Code.

The permission of the landowner is always needed to search for minerals that are not concession minerals. It is the County Administrative Board that grants production permits, but the landowner must approve mining.

Legislation for energy peat

In terms of legislation, there is a difference between peat to be used for extracting energy (energy peat) and peat to be used for other purposes. Regulations on the exploration and cutting of energy peat are found in the Certain Peat Deposits Act, while the cutting of peat for other purposes is regulated in the Swedish Environmental Code.

The County Administrative Board issues exploration concessions and also permits to extract energy peat (known as exploitation concessions).

Links to Acts and Ordinances

To the right you will find links to the Acts and Ordinances concerning the extraction of ores and minerals. The links lead to pages in the Swedish Government Offices database. An English translation of the Minerals Act is also available for download in PDF format.