The Spanish Constitution (1978) established that the basis of the mining legislation is an attribution of the State being the Spanish Regions responsible for its implementation. The Mining Act establishes the legal regime for the exploitation of mineral deposits and other geological resources.
Although the legal framework details extensively the regulation and authorization regime, the fact that its implementation is competence of the 17 Spanish Regions, leads that its application is not always homogenous and that synergies between regional administrations are not always exploited.
The final objective of this commitment is to facilitate the permitting procedure in the extractive industry by supporting organizations and competent authorizations to fulfill existing requirements in the mining legislation in force at national level. The environmental or land use permitting procedure will be addressed if the results of the proposed action under this call are positive.
To achieve the final objective to support organizations and competent authorities to fulfill the existing requirements in the basic legislation on mining, are envisaged the following actions:
1-Permitting procedure in basic legislation on mining. Requirements and supporting documents
1.1-General description of the permitting procedure established in the basic legislation on mining.
Output: Explanatory document, on a tool box format, with a general description of the permitting procedure established in the basic legislation on mining. This document will be available online.
1.2-Identify existing information requirements in the basic legislation on mining
Output: Document that summarizes: existing information requirements in the basic legislation on mining; organization that must submit such information; addressee; reference to existing templates; recommendations for establishing/modifying templates.
1.3-Drafting of new templates or modification of existing ones that support information required by the basic legislation on mining.
Output: New templates or modification of existing ones.
1.4-Assessment for drafting of a guidance document with regard to permitting procedures established in the basic legislation on mining.
2-Benchmarking analysis of the permitting procedure implementation at Regional level
2.1-Mapping the permitting procedure implementation at Regional level
Output: Document that compiles the information made available online by competent authorities for fulfilling permitting requirements, such as: description of relevant legislation for each administrative process, including regional legislation; template formats; guidance documents, etc.
2.2-Disseminate and analyze the best practice cases identified in the mapping exercise.
Output: Document that compiles best practice cases identified.
3.1-Make available in English on the web portal of the Mining Directorate of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism the scope and title of the basic legislation on mining.
Output: English version of the website of mining legislation.
3.2-Make available in English on the web portal of the Mining Directorate of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism an explanatory document with a general description of the permitting procedure established in the basic legislation on mining.
Output: English version on the website of the explanatory document on the permitting procedure established in the basic legislation on mining.
The expected impacts of this call will be:
1-Clearly identified information on all requirements established in the basic legislation on mining that must be fulfilled by organizations and that must be required by competent authorities.
2-Help to identify duplicities in the information required by the basic legislation on mining.
3-Streamline and give certainty to the permitting procedure by the general implementation of templates and explanatory guidelines for the fulfillment of requirements included in the basic mining legislation.
4-Help to identify and share best practice examples among the 17 Regions that are mining competent authorities in Spain.
5-Strength cooperation and feedback between Central Government, Regional Administrations and industry and, in general, with all stakeholders involved in the permitting process.
6-Lead to have similar approaches by competent authorities on the implementation of the basic legislation on mining.
7-Gain experience to promote actions to streamline and reduce the timeframe on environmental and land use permitting issues.
According to 2012 mining statistics, Spain had, on the non-energy extractive industry, 3.221 active exploitations and 28.094 direct employments, being a major producer at global level for some industrial and construction minerals and with a growing presence in the metallic subsector (7 metallic mines in operation and around 30 projects that have gone further the investigation phase). Most of the Spanish companies, like in most Europe, are SMEs. For instance, in terms of employment, companies (including the aggregates subsector) with less than 50 workers meant 58% of the work force and 97% of the extraction sites.
Therefore, any action, including those oriented to streamlining the permitting procedure, must take into consideration the company size, the variety of substances and, at Spanish level, the fact that its implementation is competence of the Regions. This call aims to identify how the permitting procedure is performed and to assess, considering the sector and administration structure and competences, possible actions for improvement.
The main task will be to draft the relevant documents and collect comments from involved stakeholders. It will start the work by identifying existing legal requirements in the basic legislation on mining and a mapping how the permitting procedure is being implemented at national level. Once the relevant documents described in “activities” clause are drafted, it will submit them to competent authorities and stakeholder for their revision, comments and the identification of best practice cases.