Start now on the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment website
You need a licence from Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) to prospect for minerals in Northern Ireland.
How to apply
Download an application form from the DETI website.
Licences apply to all minerals except:
- a few mineral deposits (mainly salt)
- ‘common’ substances including crushed rock, sand, gravel and brick clay, and agricultural soil
You must apply to the Crown Estate Commissioners (CEC) as well as DETI if you wish to explore for precious metals such as gold and silver.
You need a separate licence for mining minerals. You can also register an expression of interest over ground you are considering prospecting.