The functioning of European economies and societies requires a stable and sustainable supply of mineral resources. For 10 years now EU has been developing raw materials initiative to secure European minerals supply. In many cases, areas with known or hypothetic mineral resources, are not sufficiently valued by society and authorities, remain unprotected and face competing land uses with the risk of becoming sterilized. MINATURA 2020 project was born out of a need to develop a harmonised framework which allow a common way of identifying “mineral deposits of public importance” (MDoPI) and their safeguarding via land use planning. The project has left a useful set of guidelines and proposals how to advance on the creation of a European network of MDoPIs to avoid sterilization of “deposits worth safeguarding”. In Poland, the need for legal protection of mineral deposits has been discussed intensively in recent years. Various proposals aimed at better system of mineral deposits safeguarding, especially those which should be recognized as of public importance, have been proposed. However, until now only a few coal deposits were recognized as strategic. Currently, the Polish National Mineral Policy is under preparation. Its overriding objective is to provide access to the necessary minerals, also in the longterm perspective. It assumes among others activities aimed at protection of mineral deposits regarding land use planning system. Paper presents scope and general results of MINATURA2020 project, with details on MINATURA2020 methodology implementation in Poland, Project of the Polish National Mineral Policy with its objectives and key pillars, position of MDoPIs in this Project, and – finally – expected future steps related to MDoPI safeguarding in EU and in Poland.
The article presents probable consequences for the protection of deposits and other mining needs, related to the entry into force of the Act of July 5, 2018 on the Facilitation of the Preparation and Implementation of Housing Investments and Accompanying Investments. This act introduces facilities for the preparation and implementation of housing as well as related projects, including the possibility of introducing investments incompatible with the existing local plans. In addition, it does so in a situation where land reserves for housing development, both in local plans and in studies of conditions and directions of spatial development, many times exceed the future needs of our country. The article presents the fundamental changes introduced by the Act to the existing planning and spatial planning system, as well as the risks associated with the mining industry. Among the latter, the following can be mentioned: lower stability of local law regulations, the possibility of resolving changes in spatial development at a very fast pace, without providing an effective way to inform subjects that may be threatened by these changes and increase the probability of the appearance of investments in the area of mining, the neighborhood of which may lead to limit or even liquidate these installations, due to even their disadvantages to housing. Some remedies have been proposed to mitigate some of the threats in the article. The Act in question was prepared and passed at an express pace, with a large opposition from many environments. At the same time, a number of legal solutions were applied in it, which were not applied in the Polish law. As a result, there are many doubts about the effects of its introduction.
The Act of July 5, 2018 on Facilitating of Preparation and Implementation of Housing and Accompanying Investments allows such investments irrespective of the existence of a local development plan or determination of use of land in the local development plan. In other words, the abovementioned investments may be implemented on land with a completely different designation according to the local development plan, as for example the mining of minerals. The location of the investment is decided by a resolution of the municipal council. If the planned location is to be situated within the boundaries of documented mineral deposits and the so-called „mining areas”, it needs, among others, to be agreed with the appropriate geological administration authority. Not taking a position within 21 days is considered as a consent. With reference to the deposits not covered by mining licenses, the Act does not indicate the premises that should be taken into consideration while providing such consent. There is a concern that this may lead to the development of the land in a way that will cause the subsequent extraction of the mineral impossible.