Northern Ireland

life needs minerals

Key Issues

Planning & Environmental

The Strategic Planning Policy Statement for Northern Ireland states “Minerals, including valuable minerals, are an important natural resource and their responsible exploitation is supported by Government. The minerals industry makes an essential contribution to the economy and to our quality of life, providing primary minerals for construction, such as sand, gravel and crushed rock, and other uses, and is also a valued provider of jobs and employment, particularly in rural areas”.

Mineral products are among the very essentials of life – as important to us in their own way as the food from our farms. Mineral products give us places to live, places to work, places to play and much more. They literally underpin our society. The mineral products industry does, however, have environmental implications. Recognising this, the Northern Ireland industry aims to adopt a responsible approach to its work and a considerate attitude to its neighbours.

It is easy to regard a quarry as a hole in the ground. It takes a bit more imagination to appreciate that many of the good things of life come out of that hole.

Minerals Mapping

Minerals Mapping and Safeguarding Future Mineral Reserves

The Department of the Environment, the British Geological Survey and its counterpart the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland have produced a Mineral Resources Map of Northern Ireland.

The map is intended to assist strategic decision-making in respect of mineral extraction and the protection of important mineral resources against sterilisation.

Six digitally generated maps at a scale of 1:100 000 scale are now available: