Welcome to The Crown Estate
There are 34 active mineral lettings on our rural estate
These lettings license the extraction of a range of minerals, including sand, gravel, limestone, granite, brick clay, coal, slate, dimension stone (including Portland Stone), waste disposal and the associated renewable electricity generation.
We also own inland mineral rights covering some 115,000 hectares (285,000 acres), though the large majority of this is not worked for minerals.
As with Mines Royal, we are not involved in the physical process of mining, but we license such activity. In recent years we have invested in new operations with the purchase of mineral interests at Cauldon Low in Staffordshire and Nether Murthat in Scotland.
Our permission is needed to remove Crown gold in any form. We currently have five Mines Royal production leases, including one active gold mine in Northern Ireland.
We are open to proposals for commercial exploration and exploitation of Mines Royal, provided that they are implemented in accordance with statutory requirements and meet high environmental standards.
We may grant an exclusive option to take a lease of Mines Royal within a specified area. That will not however confer automatic rights to access the relevant mineral deposits. Rights of access will need to be separately negotiated with the surface owner of the land.
It is not our policy to grant permission for gold panning.
Panning would require not only our permission to take the gold, but also from the landowner where the river or stream is located, in order to gain access. Unfortunately this activity is known to damage the aquatic environment and the wildlife which relies on it.
If you wish to understand more about the type of damage that gold panning can cause please contact your relevant national statutory nature conservation organisation as breaches of environmental and other legislation may result in prosecution or other action.
Scottish Natural Heritage have a position statement on gold panning. For more information please visit the link on this page: Scottish Natural Heritage - river engineering
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