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Mineral Development Act (Northern Ireland) 1969

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11Power of Ministry to prospect or grant prospecting licences.F1N.I.

(1)Where it appears to the Ministry that any mines and minerals vested in the Ministry may be situated in any land, the Ministry, for the purposes of searching for those mines and minerals, may, subject to any rights conferred upon any other person by any lease or licence granted by the Ministry and subject to subsections (3) and (4),—

(a)subject to sections 47 and 58(3), enter upon the land and there do all such things as are necessary for, or reasonably incidental to, those purposes, and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions, in particular make borings, sink pits, remove water from old workings and take and remove reasonable quantities of any such minerals for analysis, test, trial or experiment; or

(b)grant to any person, in accordance with the succeeding provisions of this section and section 12, a licence (in this Act referred to as “a prospecting licence” ) authorising that person to do anything that the Ministry is authorised to do by paragraph ( a), subject to and in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(2)Where the land mentioned in subsection (1) is owned or occupied by a government department, no exercise of the power conferred by paragraph ( b) of that subsection shall be taken as authorising the licensee to exercise any right in relation to that land otherwise than with the written consent of that department.

(3)Before exercising with respect to any land the right conferred by paragraph ( a) or the power conferred by paragraph ( b) of subsection (1), the Ministry shall notify its intention to do so by publishing in two successive weeks in the Belfast Gazette and in one or more than one newspaper circulating in the locality where the land is situated a notice—

(a)stating that the Ministry proposes to exercise the right or power in question;

(b)mentioning the land in relation to which the right or power is proposed to be exercised; and

(c)naming a place or places (including at least one place in the locality) where maps identifying the land are available for inspection at all reasonable hours.

(4)Without prejudice to subsection (3), the Ministry, not less than one month before exercising the right or, as the case may be, the power mentioned in that subsection, shall serve notice of its intention to do so on—

(a)every other government department;

(b)every local authority within whose area the land, or any part of the land, in relation to which the right or power is proposed to be exercised is situated; and

(c)every public body which, in the opinion of the Ministry, will be materially affected by any activity likely to be carried on in the exercise of the right or in consequence of the exercise of the power.

(5)Where the Ministry publishes under subsection (3), or serves under subsection (4), a notice with respect to the proposed exercise of any right or power, before exercising that right or, as the case may be, that power it shall take into account any representations which are made to it—

(a)by any person other than a person on whom such a notice was served, before the expiration of a period of one month from the date of the last such publication;

(b)by the person on whom such a notice was served, before the expiration of a period of one month from the date of the service of the notice on him or such longer period as the Ministry may in any case permit in writing.

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