Administration of Geology and Mining
in the Slovak Republic
Exploration for mineral resources in Slovakia is administered by the Ministry of the Environment. Within the ministry, the Division of Geology and Natural Resources directly oversees the field of geology and exploration. The division is headed by a director general, and has two main departments: 1) the Legal Department and 2) the Department of Geological Research and Exploration.
Ministry of the Environment
The Ministry of the Environment acting under law No. 569/2007 and registration N.51/2008 provides oversight and management of the country’s mineral deposits and energy sources. Activities include the following:
- Proposes government-sponsored programs of geological research and exploration
- Supervises contract geological work including vetting of the results
- Ensures that results of government-sponsored geological activities are properly archived and made available to users
- Approves the estimate of reserves / resources of “exclusive minerals” discovered and issues notice thereof. Exclusive minerals are spatially defined deposits of mineralization for which a tonnage and grade have been estimated
- Grants the right to non-governmental companies to manage the deposits of “exclusive minerals” found by government sponsored prospecting and exploration programs.
- Guarantees an integrated system of geological information
- Issues decrees and regulations as to staking mineral claims, changing, and cancelling claims
- Issues licenses to firms and individuals to perform geological exploration work
- Deals with abandon mines and site remediation.
The Ministry of Environment will be integrated into the Ministry of Agriculture in June of 2010.
Ministry of the Economy and Main Mining Bureau
Mining activities are administered by the Main Mining Bureau at the Ministry of the Economy, located in Banska Stiavnica. The Main Mining Bureau also has regional offices in Bratislava, Banská Bystrica, Košice, Prievidza and Spišská Nová Ves. The tasks of the Main Mining Bureau are set out in law No. 44/1988 and law 214/2002
- Monitors mining activity in Slovakia
- Administers the regional mining offices
- Regulates the rational exploitation of mineral resources
- Regulates mine safety
- Carries out inspections of mining activities
- Registers Mining Licences and changes or cancellations thereto
Regional Mining Offices
Regional mining offices perform the following functions:
- Manages compliance with the mining law and safety regulations
- Inspection of active mining operations
- Oversees the use and storage of explosives
- Issue, modify or cancel mining licences for cause
- Issues permits for the development and exploitation of exclusive mineral deposits
- Issues permits for underground exploration
- Issues permits for surface construction work in the area of mining licences
The State Geological Survey
The state Geological Survey of the Slovak Republic (Štátny Geologický ústav Dionýza Štúra) is based in Bratislava and has regional branches located in Košice, Spišská Nová Ves, and Banská Bystrica. Activities are divided into six divisions,
- Regional Geology
- Environmental Geology
- Mineral Resources
- Analytical Laboratories
- Informatics and Accounting
- Administration Office
The state Geological Survey carries out
- Systematic and comprehensive geological investigations of the entire country, including geological mapping, hydrogeology, engineering geology, environmental geology and metallogeny
- Completes mineral resource assessments
- Exploration for minerals, water, and energy resources, engineering and geological assessment of waste disposal sites
- Geophysical and geochemical surveys
- Chemical and technological analyses
- Develops and operates an information system of geology and mineral reserves, including geological archives
- Provides geological information to the public, maps, reports, etc.
- Operates the central geological library of Slovakia
- Publishes geological maps, books and journals
- Provides an impartial advise to government bodies and state institutions
- Engages in contract exploration for private corporations using its highly experienced staff and excellent data base.
The Commercial Code
The Commercial Code regulates legal issues related to business activities of foreign entrepreneurs in Slovakia. Foreign individuals and legal entities are afforded the same treatment as national persons and companies. Foreign individuals and legal entities wishing to undertake business activities in Slovakia are required to employ a domestic resident partner and to register the scope of the business in the Commercial Register. The Ministry of the Environment issues the licences to undertake geological exploration programs in compliance with Law No. 569/2007 and by Registration No. 51/2008.
Individual applicants are required to demonstrate professional competency once every four years and provide proof of a university degree and relevant experience. A legal entity applicant needs to attach to the application form a Statement of the Commercial Register a document certifying the establishment of a legal entity.
Geological & Mining Legislation
At present all geological and mining activities are regulated by three acts. These acts define essential rights and obligations of legal entities and individuals carrying out exploration and mining operations.
Law No. 569/2007 on geological operations and geological administration sets forth:
- The scope, performance and evaluation of geological operations
- Conditions for the issue of licences to undertake geological exploration and certificates of professional competence.
- Rules governing granting and transfer of exploration licences
- Role, position, and activities of the state administration in geology (Division of Geology and Natural Resources of the Ministry of the Environment)
- Role and duties of the state geological survey
Law No. 44/1988 on protection and exploitation of mineral resources (mining code), as revised in Law 214/2002 determines:
- Determines ownership and administration of mineral resources
- Principles of protection and rational exploitation of mineral wealth
- Conditions for mining and mining licences
- Reimbursement of damages due to mining activities.
Law No. 154/1995 and Law No. 58/1998, (Mining Regulations) determine the:
- Conditions under which mining activities and techniques can be carried out, with special attention paid to safety regulations, environmental protection and rational exploitation of mineral deposits.
- Conditions for the use of explosives.
- State mining administration.
According to these laws geological operations (exploration) may be carried out by legal entities and individuals on the basis of licence only, granted by the Ministry of the Environment. Exploration for exclusive minerals, which are the property of the State may be carried out only on exploration permit areas granted by the same ministry.