MinLand Portuguese Workshop is done: the opportunity to integrate mineral Resources in Land-Use Planning 

February 4, 2019

The MinLand workshop, organised by LNEG and DGEG, was held on January 23, 2019 in the Auditorium Carlos Ribeiro, at the LNEG Campus in Alfragide.

The event was attended by 47 representatives of 10 regional and national entities involved in the Land-Use Planning, Mineral Resources and Environment decision-making process.Representatives of private companies also attended the workshop.

The workshop started with presentations related to the integration of mineral resources in land-use planning. These were followed by a discussion at four roundtables on the following issues:

  • How to consider the concepts of “Potential Area” and “Complementary Exploitation Area” in the municipal land use plans?
  • What is the public perception of the importance of mineral resources?
  • It is easy to get new mining permits in areas that are not designated in land use planning for the exploitation of mineral resources?

The discussion was fruitful allowing reaching some conclusions:

The difficulties in safeguarding mineral resources through land use planning are fundamentally related to the lack of a national sectoral plan for mineral resources and the low flexibility of other sectoral plans in their relationship with minerals. In addition, these difficulties are directly related to a decisive factor, which is the low public acceptance for mining as a result of misinformation.

The proposed solutions involve the establishment of a sectoral plan for mineral resources, the creation of mechanisms to improve the flexibility of the municipal land use plans, raise awareness among the public on the need of mineral resources through education in schools, media, social networks, and a need of more transparency by mineral exploration companies. It was also unanimously proposed that a bigger percentage of royalties should be allocated to social actions at the community where mining is carried out.

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