02 July 2021

Aggregates, potash and other minerals

Official announcements about projects or comments we may make on topics of discussion within the aggregates, potash and minerals industries, can be found here. 

 

 

2nd July 2020: Expressions of Interest invited for marine geophysical and geotechnical surveys

We are seeking expressions of interest from suitably experienced and qualified contractors wishing to bid for an opportunity to carry out geophysical and geotechnical surveys in the southern North sea (Humber & East Coast), the Eastern English Channel and the Thames Estuary. This work will be complementary to a project being undertaken by The Crown Estate focussed on generating a more detailed picture of the marine sand and gravel resources lying offshore eastern and southern England. Geophysical work will include bathymetric, side scan sonar and seismic surveys. Geotechnical work will include grab sampling and vibrocoring.

In each geographical area there will be a combined geophysical survey composed of a bathymetry, side scan sonar and high resolution 2-D seismic survey to be undertaken along a series of transects. Each transect will consist of either a single line or two adjacent lines. The geophysical data will be complemented by a grab and vibrocore survey. Details of survey components will be described in the PQQ and the Invitation to Tender. It is currently estimated that around 1000-line km of geophysical data and 200 vibrocores will be acquired across the 4 zones. Seismic lines and sample sites will be provided prior to each survey and may occasionally be varied. Offshore regions will be divided for ease of reference into survey blocks and further information on these will be released in due course.

Companies interesting in submitting bids will need to have access to suitable survey vessels capable of 24hr operations with a proven capability for high quality high resolution seismic acquisition and seabed sampling. They will also need to demonstrate appropriate levels of experience and competence and high standards in the management of health and safety.

Companies wishing to receive a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire as a precursor to being selected to bid for individual work packages can do so by contacting The Crown Estate through the following e-mail address: [email protected].

Expressions of Interest should be submitted by 12:00 midnight on Friday 16th July 2021 at the latest.

Update on the next Marine Aggregate Extraction Tender Round 

The opportunity to complete an Expression of Interest (“EoI”) for a proposed 2021 Marine Aggregate Extraction Tender Round has now closed.

Following successful engagement with the sector, we can confirm that we intend to hold a tender round during 2021/22. This process will offer applicants the opportunity to seek rights for the exploration of aggregates (sand and gravel) lying on or under the seabed in regions of The Crown Estate mineral ownership, and to obtain an option for a “Production Agreement” to extract marine aggregates.

The Invitation to Tender stage (ITT) will commence in late summer 2021. Following tender evaluation and assessment, and subject to the requirements of a plan-level Habitats Regulations Assessment, rights could be awarded at the end of the autumn of 2022. Successful applicants would then be required to obtain all relevant statutory consents prior to the commencement of activities.

If you require further information in relation to the 2021 Marine Aggregate Extraction Tender Round or if you have any queries in relation to The Crown Estate’s marine aggregate activities please contact [email protected].

Minerals Licensing Round 2018

Following market interest, The Crown Estate have conducted a comprehensive tender process relating to exploration for metallic minerals off the coast of Cornwall. Following the completion of the tender and an environmental assessment known as a plan level Habitats Regulations Assessment, we have issued Exploration & Option Agreements relating to the exploration for Lithium.

In order to proceed to commercial extraction all the milestones required for extraction rights from The Crown Estate will need to be met, as well as statutory planning and environmental consents from the relevant regulatory body, which would include consultation.

For further information, please see here, or if you would like more information please get in touch.

Update on the next marine aggregate tender round 

Following the successful completion of the 2018 Marine Aggregates tender, and our recent engagement with the sector, we can confirm that we intend to hold our next tender round during 2021/22. This process will offer applicants the opportunity to seek rights for the exploration of aggregates (sand and gravel) lying on or under the seabed, in offshore areas of English and Welsh waters.

Pre-qualification will commence in the spring of 2021, with the Invitation to Tender stage (ITT) beginning in the summer. Following tender evaluation and assessment, and subject to the requirements of a plan-level Habitats Regulations Assessment, rights could be awarded at the end of the autumn of 2022. Successful applicants would then be required to obtain all relevant statutory consents prior to the commencement of activities.

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