Minerals Development Act, 1979

JurisdictionIreland


Number 12 of 1979


MINERALS DEVELOPMENT ACT, 1979


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

Preliminary and General

Section

1.

Short title, collective citation and construction.

2.

Interpretation.

3.

Minerals.

4.

Membership of Mining Board.

5.

Witnesses.

6.

Persons under disability or unascertained.

7.

Assessors.

8.

Half-yearly report to Oireachtas.

9.

Regulations.

10.

Expenses.

11.

Repeals.

PART II

Exercise of Mining Rights

12.

Exclusive right of working minerals vested in Minister.

13.

Saver for prospecting rights of mineral owners.

14.

Exception for existing development.

15.

Registration of excepted minerals.

16.

Cancellation of registration.

17.

Leases and licences.

18.

Notice of proposal to exercise powers.

19.

Notice to persons entitled to compensation.

PART III

Compensation

20.

Persons entitled to compensation.

21.

Payment of compensation.

22.

Claims for compensation.

23.

Assessment of compensation.

SCHEDULE

Repeals


Number 12 of 1979


MINERALS DEVELOPMENT ACT, 1979


AN ACT TO MAKE BETTER PROVISION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT, MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF THE MINERAL RESOURCES OF THE STATE AND FOR REGULATING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF SOCIAL JUSTICE THE EXERCISE OF PRIVATE RIGHTS IN RESPECT OF MINERALS WITH A VIEW TO RECONCILING THEIR EXERCISE WITH THE EXIGENCIES OF THE COMMON GOOD AND FOR THAT PURPOSE TO PROVIDE FOR VESTING IN THE MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY, COMMERCE AND ENERGY THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT OF WORKING, SELLING OR OTHERWISE DISPOSING OF MINERALS WHICH ARE NOT IN COURSE OF DEVELOPMENT, SUBJECT TO PAYMENT OF FAIR COMPENSATION, TO PROVIDE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUCH MINERALS WHETHER BY THE MINISTER OR UNDER LEASE OR LICENCE, TO AMEND THE MINERALS DEVELOPMENT ACTS, 1940 AND 1960, AND TO PROVIDE FOR OTHER RELATED MATTERS. [20th June, 1979]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

PART I

Preliminary and General

Short title, collective citation and construction.

1.—(1) This Act may be cited as the Minerals Development Act, 1979.

(2) The Minerals Development Acts, 1940 and 1960 and this Act may be cited together as the Minerals Development Acts, 1940 to 1979.

(3) The Minerals Development Acts, 1940 and 1960 and this Act shall be construed together as one Act.

Interpretation.

2.—(1) In this Act, except where the context otherwise requires—

“the Act of, 1940” means the Minerals Development Act, 1940 ;

“the Court” means the High Court or the Supreme Court;

“excepted minerals” means minerals which by virtue of section 14 are excepted from the application of section 12;

“the Minister” means the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Energy;

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under this Act;

“State minerals” includes (without prejudice to the generality of the meaning assigned by section 5 of the Act of 1940) an exclusive right of working minerals vested in the Minister under section 12 of this Act;

“working” in relation to minerals, includes digging, searching for, mining, getting, raising, taking, carrying away, treating and converting such minerals and the sale or other disposal of such minerals and cognate words shall be construed accordingly.

(2) A reference in this Act to minerals in land shall be taken to include reference to minerals on or under the surface of land.

(3) A reference in this Act to a section is to a section of this Act unless it is indicated that reference to some other enactment is intended.

(4) A reference in this Act to any enactment shall be construed as a reference to that enactment as amended by any subsequent enactment.

Minerals.

3.—(1) In this Act, “minerals” has the meaning assigned by section 3 of the Act of 1940 as amended by section 69 of the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act, 1960 , and by subsection (2) of this section.

(2) In the Act of 1940 and this Act “minerals” shall not include stone, gravel, sand or clay except to the extent that any such substance falls within the list of minerals mentioned in the Schedule to the Act of 1940.

Membership of Mining Board.

4.—Each of the two ordinary members of the Mining Board established by section 33 of the Act of 1940 shall be a person who is a property arbitrator under the Property Values (Arbitrations and Appeals) Act, 1960 .

Witnesses.

5.—A person who—

(a) having been directed under section 35 of the Act of 1940 to attend before the Mining Board, and having had tendered to him any sum in respect of the expenses of his attendance which a witness summoned to attend before the High Court would be entitled to have tendered to him, without just cause or excuse disobeys the direction,

(b) being in attendance before the Board, refuses to take the oath on being required by the Board to do so, refuses to answer any question which the Board may require him to answer or refuses to produce any document or thing which the Board may direct him to produce, or

(c) does any other thing in relation to the proceedings before the Board which, if done in relation to proceedings before the High Court by a witness in that Court, would be contempt of that Court,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both.

Persons under disability or unascertained.

6.—(1) For all the purposes of this Act an infant, a person of unsound mind or a person of weak mind who is temporarily incapable of managing his affairs may be represented by the guardian or committee of his estate or, where there is no guardian or committee, by such person as may be appointed by the High Court or, for the purpose of proceedings before the Mining Board, by the Board.

(2) Where, in any proceedings under this Act, the Court or, in the case of proceedings before the Mining Board, the Board deems it necessary or expedient to do so, the Court or Board may appoint a person to represent, for the purposes of such proceedings, the interest of any person who is not found or ascertained.

Assessors.

7.—Subject to rules of court, the Court may at its discretion appoint assessors to assist the Court in any proceedings under this Act, and the remuneration of assessors shall be determined by the Court and shall be paid as part of the expenses of the administration of this Act.

Half-yearly report to Oireachtas.

8.—A report of the Minister under section 77 of the Act of 1940 shall include particulars of all leases and licences granted under this Act and for the time being in force and the total amount of all moneys collected by the Minister under or by virtue of any such lease or licence.

Regulations.

9.—(1) The Minister may make regulations for any purpose of this Act or in relation to any matter referred to in this Act as prescribed.

(2) Every regulation made by the Minister under this Act shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the regulation is passed by either such House within the next subsequent twenty-one days on which that House has sat after the regulation is laid before it, the regulation shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under the regulation.

Expenses.

10.—The expenses incurred by the Minister in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

Repeals.

11.—(1) The enactments mentioned in the Schedule are hereby repealed to the extent specified in the third column.

(2) The amendment of section 18 of the Act of 1940 effected by subsection (1) shall be subject to the provisions of any lease or licence.

PART II

Exercise of Mining Rights

Exclusive right of working minerals vested in Minister.

12.—The exclusive right of working minerals is hereby vested in the Minister, except as provided in this Part.

Saver for prospecting rights of mineral owners.

13.—Without prejudice to the provisions of Part II of the Act of 1940 (which relates to prospecting for unworked minerals), section 12 shall not operate to prevent the owner of an estate or interest in minerals in any land from prospecting for such minerals, that is to say, carrying out any activities for the purpose of ascertaining the character, extent or value of such minerals and taking and removing reasonable quantities of such minerals for analysis, test, trial or experiment where such prospecting is conducted otherwise than as part of the operation of working those minerals if, apart from that section, he would be entitled to conduct such prospecting but such right of prospecting shall not apply in relation to minerals which are being worked by the Minister or are the subject of a State mining lease or a licence under section 17 (1) or be so exercised as to interfere with such working or with the lawful operations of the lessee or licensee.

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