The Minerals Act

The Minerals Act (1991:45) came into force on 1 July 1992. It has subsequently been amended as follows:

  • 1 July 1993, abolition of the rules giving the state a half share in mines (1993:690),
  • 1 July 1998, introduction of protection zone rules for mines (1998:165),
  • 1 January 1999, adapted to the new Environmental Code (1998:808), which entered into force on the same date.

The other principal acts and ordinances governing the exploitation of minerals are:

  • Minerals Ordinance (1992:285)
  • The Act on the Continental Shelf (1966:314),
  • The Continental Shelf Ordinance (1966:315),
  • The Certain Peat Deposits Act (1985:620),
  • The Certain Peat Deposits Ordinance (1985:626).

For several hundred years, Sweden and other countries have had a special minerals legislation to safeguard the supply of metals and certain other minerals. Laws and ordinances on mining were being written as early as the Middle Ages. The oldest surviving ones are King Magnus Eriksson's charter of 1340 for Västra Berget and the charter of 1347 for the Copper Mountain, Falun. The ordinance of the "1485 council regarding the right to ores" contains the first regulations in Sweden on the right to make use of ore deposits.

Over the last century, Sweden has had the following laws relating to minerals:

  • The 1884 Mining Regulation (1884:24), which was replaced by
  • the 1938 Mining Act (1938:314), which was in turn superseded by
  • the 1974 Mining Act (1974:342).
  • The 1886 Coal Deposits Act (1886:46) and
  • the 1960 Uranium Act (1960:679). These were both replaced by
  • the Act concerning Certain Mineral Deposits (1974:890).

The Minerals Act currently in force replaced both the 1974 Mining Act and the Act concerning Certain Mineral Deposits of the same year.

Other acts affecting exploration and exploitation

Among the acts with provisions affecting the activities referred to in the Minerals Act are the following:

  • Planning and Building Act (1987:10), Plan- och bygglagen
  • Environmental Code (1998:808), Miljöbalken
  • Act (1988:950) concerning the Cultural Heritage Management, Kulturminneslagen