Commercial exploitation of Mines Royal

‘Mines Royal’ is the historic name for naturally occurring gold and silver, virtually all of which is owned by The Crown Estate.

We encourage proposals for the commercial exploration and development of gold and silver deposits, providing they are carried out in accordance with statutory requirements and meet high environmental standards.

Commercial exploration requires access to land, and commercial development requires a lease of the Mines Royal as well as access to land. If we do not hold the land in question we do not have the power to grant access for mineral exploration activities – this lies with the landowner.

Our role is to consider applications from responsible commercial applicants for an option to take a lease of Mines Royal, which can be exercised if a viable deposit of gold or silver is found and planning permission is obtained to mine it. This option gives the exploration company reassurance that mining the deposit can proceed if all the other legal and financial criteria are met.

Companies wishing to prospect for Mines Royal are invited to contact The Crown Estate mineral agent for an informal discussion. Please contact our mineral agent at this address:

If, following that discussion, an exploration company wants the commercial security of having an option to lease Mines Royal, it can make an application using the guidance available to download:

Mines Royal option process (PDF) (PDF, 0.06 MB)

Or in Word version:

Mines Royal option process (Word document) (DOCX, 0.03 MB)

For further information on the location of Mines Royal Options and leases in place, maps are available to download. Please note that they are indicative only and are correct as at the date as shown on each header.

Wales Mines Royal interests (PDF, 1.94 MB)

Northern Ireland Mines Royal interests (PDF, 13.23 MB)

There are no current options granted in England.

Use of maps

If you have any further enquiries regarding Mines Royal please contact:

The Crown Estate Mineral Agent
Wardell Armstrong LLP
Sir Henry Doulton House
Forge Lane
Stoke on Trent ST1 5BD

01782 276 700

0845 111 8888 (Fax)