Mining has been an industry in Ireland since the Bronze Age. In latter years, as the mines have got bigger and more technology-led, regard for the preserving the local environment has increased exponentially. Lisheen Mine in county Tipperary is a fine example of the Irish mining industry placing an enormous respect on the environment.
Mineral exploration and mining are regulated under the Minerals Development Acts 1940 -1999. The Minerals Development Act 2017 was enacted on 26 July 2017 and is due to be commenced.
The Minerals Development Act 2017 will provide for:
Regulations relating to the 1940 – 1999 Primary Acts are available from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
Today, Ireland has an international reputation for mining in an environmentally responsible manner and is highly regarded as an attractive destination for mining investment and for positive government policy. This follows many decades where our mining legacy was less than desirable.
In recent times, zinc and lead has been successfully mined at the Galmoy mine in County Kilkenny and at the Lisheen mine in County Tipperary, both of which have since closed and are in the process of site rehabilitation. The closure of these mines is being carried out to a very high standard and to best international standards and this is very positive for future investment.
Tara mines started producing zinc in the 1970s and is currently undergoing the development of a new extension at the Tara Deeps zone which may result in production extension for many years.
When Galmoy, Lisheen and Tara were all operational, Ireland was Europe’s largest zinc producer.