09 September 2019

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. 

The Crown Estate completes Habitats Regulations Assessment for 2018/19 marine aggregate tender round

The Crown Estate has now completed the plan-level Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) for the 2018/19 marine aggregate tender round, confirming that all eight of the dredging sites proposed will now progress to award of rights. 

The Crown Estate will now offer the successful bidders initial five year exploration and option agreements. Bidders will then be required to obtain statutory permission in the form of a Marine Licence from the relevant regulator, prior to any extraction taking place.

A map of the eight sites is available here.

The plan-level Habitats Regulations Assessment assesses the possible impact of the sites proposed for the extraction of marine aggregates, on the relevant nature conservation sites of European importance.  

Throughout the HRA process, The Crown Estate, supported by expert independent advisors, has consulted with the statutory marine planning authorities, the statutory nature conservation bodies and a number of non-governmental stakeholders.

Following the conclusion of the HRA, The Crown Estate’s Appropriate Assessment, which includes an overview of the HRA methodology, has been made available on Marine Data Exchange, along with the Report to Inform the Appropriate Assessment (RIAA) prepared by its advisors.

The Crown Estate continues to work with British Marine Aggregate Producers Association and the aggregates industry, to help support the effective and sustainable management of our seabed – helping to drive a significant long-term reduction in the total area of seabed licensed for marine aggregate extraction.

Accurate information on the extent and intensity of dredging operations on The Crown Estate licence areas is possible through analysis of data recorded through the Electronic Monitoring System (EMS). Since 1993, The Crown Estate has required all vessels dredging on their licence areas to be fitted with such systems.

Update on the Minerals Licensing Round - 31st May, 2019

Following a robust stage one tender evaluation and assessment, the tender process is moving to the second and final stage.

It is expected that the second phase of the Invitation to Tender (ITT) will run from 6th June 2019 until late summer 2019. The purpose of a two stage tender process is to allow us to look separately at key aspects of an applicant’s proposals.

The Minerals Licensing Round was initiated to allow applicants to seek rights for the exploration of minerals (excluding sand and gravel) lying on or under the seabed in offshore areas of Cornwall, within the 12-nautical mile UK territorial limit. A successful applicant would be required to obtain all relevant statutory consents prior to the commencement of activities.

Update on the Minerals Licensing Round - 29th November, 2018

Following the Pre-Qualification (PQ) stage of the Minerals Licensing Round, completed over the Summer, we are now taking the process forward to the next stage.

We will now open an Invitation to Tender (ITT) in two stages. The purpose of a two stage ITT process is to allow us to look separately at key aspects of applicant’s proposals.

Stage 1 will run between the end of November 2018 and February 2019. Following the stage 1 Tender evaluation and assessment, it is expected that the Tender stage 2 will run between May and June 2019. Subject to the requirements of a plan-level Habitats Regulations Assessment, rights could be awarded at the end of 2019 or early 2020.

The Minerals Licensing Round is being undertaken to allow applicants to seek rights for the exploration of minerals (excluding sand and gravel) lying on or under the seabed in offshore areas of Cornwall within the 12-nautical mile UK territorial limit. Successful applicants would be required to obtain all relevant statutory consents prior to the commencement of activities.

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