Strategic deposits – changes in mining and geological law

News / 28.10.2023

On October 28, 2023, the Act of June 16, 2023, amending the Geological and Mining Law and certain other acts ( Dz.U. 2023 item 2029) partially entered into force.

The law introduces a definition of a strategic deposit, which will be subject to special legal protection due to its significance for the economy or national security. Recognition of a deposit as strategic will take place on the basis of a decision by the Minister of Climate and Environment, who, within 2 years of the effective date of the amendment, is obliged to initiate ex officio proceedings with respect to mineral deposits that were documented before the effective date of the amendment.

The aforementioned change is of great significance for the possibility of carrying out development in the area where the strategic deposit is located, since, according to the new wording of Article 94a sec. 12 of the Geological and Mining Law, in a decision recognizing mineral deposit as strategic deposit, the minister responsible for climate and environment may indicate the conditions that the municipality should take into account in the planning and spatial development process, i.e. in the adoption of local plans. In particular, the municipality should take into account the need to prohibit permanent development or prohibit other development of the designated area of the strategic deposit in a way that would exclude the possibility of developing the deposit.

Under the amendment, municipalities will be required to take the minister’s decision into account in planning documents, without the possibility of appealing it to an independent court. Owners of properties located in the area of strategic deposits, on the other hand, will not be entitled to any compensation for the decrease in the value of the plot or the restriction of the right to use it.