Safeguarding natural resources
Minerals are essential to support sustainable economic growth and society’s needs, so safeguarding finite and non-renewable mineral resources is a key aspect of sustainable development. In the UK, mineral planning authorities are obliged to ensure known locations of specific minerals are not needlessly sterilised by non-mineral development.
We recommend a staged approach to mineral safeguarding assessment to avoid the cost of aborted site investigations. The first stage includes a report based on a desk study and site walk over. In the event that this initial assessment confirms the existence of potential workable minerals and that there are no significant constraints to extracting them, we recommend further investigative work, such as trial pitting.
We evaluate the quality and quantity of the minerals, taking into account other relevant factors, such as the presence of groundwater, to assess the likely viability and environmental acceptability of working them. We prepare both desk studies and full site investigations to inform discussion with mineral planning authorities, and we have public inquiry expert witness experience.