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26 January 2022

Marine Aggregates 21-22 Tender Round

Hear from our Minerals team as they share an update on the timeline for the marine aggregates tender round…..

Following the successful completion of the 2018 Marine Aggregates tender, and our engagement with the sector, The Crown Estate confirmed it would be holding a tender round during 2021/22. This process offers 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.

Marine aggregates currently meet the need for around a quarter of the sand and gravel demand in England and Wales, and form a critical component of the UK’s building materials supply chain. It is important that sufficient opportunity is provided to industry to ensure that access to an adequate pipeline of resources is maintained, to meet both current and future market requirements.

Following confirmation of a high level of interest in the process, an Invitation to Tender was issued to prospective applicants in September 2021. The window for submission of bids closed on 7th January 2022. Bids will be reviewed and assessed during February and March 2022, before a recommendation is made on which applications can be taken forward to the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) phase of the tender process.

The Crown Estate will subsequently carry out a plan level HRA, which will commence in the spring of 2022. Subject to the outcome of the HRA, we will be offering rights, in the form of Exploration and Option Agreements, to successful applicants, and expect to be able to do this towards the end of 2022. Those rights will provide the ability to conduct work to confirm mineral resource assessment, and to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The EIA will support an application to the relevant regulator for a Marine License, which is the statutory consent required to extract marine aggregate.

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