The exploration and extraction of ore in Sweden, on your own land as well as the land of others, can only be conducted in accordance with the Minerals Act. The Act defines, among other things, the minerals that the regulatory framework applies to, known as concession minerals.
The Swedish Mining Inspectorate
The Swedish mining Inspectorate, a decision-making body within the geological survey of Sweden (SGU), acts as the licensing authority and is responsible for ensuring the Minerals Act is complied with.
In order to search for ore in Sweden you need an exploration permit. An exploration permit authorises the holder to have fixed-term exclusive rights to exploration in the area, as well as preferential rights for obtaining the subsequent exploitation concession. An exploration permit is normally valid for three years with the possibility of extension, initially by three years. Further extensions can be obtained if there are special and important circumstances. The extension is normally awarded in cases where the exploration work in the field has been conducted over the previous three-year period. The exploration permit is issued by the Swedish Mining Inspectorate.
If the deposit is considered economically sustainable following the explorations, the Swedish mining Inspectorate issues an mining concession that gives the holder the right to mine the ore in the deposit for 25 years, with a right of renewal of the concession.
For mining to commence an environmental permit is also required from the Land and Environment Court. As supporting documentation for the application, extensive analysis and investigation is conducted of the impacts of activities on the environment. These studies are documented in an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
When a mining concession is obtained, the land can if necessary, be used through what is known as land allocation. In such cases, the Swedish Mining Inspectorate regulates the amount of possible compensation to the landowner.