A Guide to
Mineral Legislation and Regulations
in Sweden

Issued by Geological Survey of Sweden / October 1995.

See also News about Mineral's Act

The Swedish Parliament has merged the Mining Act (1974:342) and the Act concerning Certain Mineral Deposits (1974:890) into the Minerals' Act (1991:45) effective from July 1, 1992.

This guide is an introduction to the Swedish mineral legislation and regulations. It has no legal status. Those who want to know the exact wording of the Acts are referred to the Swedish law text.

The entire Minerals' Act and some of the other Acts mentioned in this guide are also available as unofficial English translations, obtainable from the Geological Survey of Sweden.


The Act is applicable to exploration and exploitation on land no matter what the ownership. (See limitations p. 4).


The mineral substances (concession minerals) covered by the Act are:

1) antimony, arsenic, beryllium, bismuth, cesium, chromium, cobalt, copper, gold, iridium, iron occurring in the bedrock, lanthanum and lanthanide series, lead, lithium, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, niobium, osmium, palladium, platinum, rhodium, rubidium, ruthenium, scandium, silver, strontium, tantalum, thorium, tin, titanium, tungsten, uranium, vanadium, yttrium, zinc and zirconium,

2) alum shale, andalusite, apatite, baryte, brucite, refractory clay or clinkering clay, coal, fluorspar, graphite, kyanite, magnesite, nepheline syenite, pyrite, pyrrhotite, rock salt or other similar salt deposits, sillimanite, and wollastonite,

3) oil, gaseous hydrocarbons and diamonds.

Other minerals, not mentioned above, belong to the landowner.


Exploration may be carried out only by the holder of an exploration permit (exceptions: See Minerals'Act Chp 1 Sect 4) and exploitation only by the holder of an exploitation concession.


There are no restrictions to foreigners obtaining exploration permits and exploitation concessions.
An exploration permit or an exploitation concession may be transferred after consent by the issuing authority.



An exploration permit is granted for a specific area where there seems likelihood of a successful discovery being made. It should be of suitable shape and size and no larger than may be assumed can be explored by the permitholder in an appropriate manner.


An exploration permit is valid for a period of three years from the date of issue. After that, on application, it may be extended by another period of up to a maximum of three years if suitable exploration has been carried out within the area. The same is valid if the permit-holder has plausible excuses for exploration not yet having been carried out but nonetheless shows it likely that the area will be explored during the period referred to in the application.
In exceptional cases the period of validity of the permit may be further extended but for no more than a total of four years.
This means that the longest possible valid period for any one permit is ten years.

Moratorium - Waiting period

When an exploration permit has expired, a further application from the permitholder will not be considered for the same area until a period of three years has elapsed since the permit ceased to be valid.
This three year moratorium is only applicable to the ex-permit-holder, allowing others the opportunity to investigate the area.


Exploration and exploitation cannot be carried out in national parks. Such activities are also seldom permitted in the following area:
- those included in detailed town plans or in regional provisions according to the Planning and Building Act (1987:10)
- within thirty metres from public roads, railways, canals or airports
- within one hundred metres of any site with a building inhabited for the greater part of the year
- areas occupied by electric power stations or industrial plants
- areas occupied by churches or other assembly halls, educational institutions, hotels or boarding houses, hospitals or other comparable establishment intended for more than fifty persons
- areas of fortification
- churchyards or other burial grounds
- certain areas in the Swedish mountains


Damage or encroachment caused by exploration work shall be compensated by the holder of the permit or concession.


When an exploration permit is terminated without the granting of an exploitation concession within the exploration area the permit-holder shall - if he is carrying on exploration work professionaly - within one month at the latest provide a report of exploration performed. A map of the explored area shall be appended to the report.

The report shall state:
- who has conducted the exploration work
- the kind(s) of exploration carried out
- the extent of the exploration and
- who holds the results of this exploration



A concession is valid for a definite area which is decided on the basis of the extent of the deposit, the purpose of the concession and other circumstances.


A concession shall be granted if
- a mineral deposit has been found which can probable be exploited economically,
- the location and nature of the deposit does not make it inappropriate that applicant is granted the concession requested and
- in the case of oil and gas, the applicant is considered appropriate for the exploitation of the deposit.
The Act (1987:12) concerning the Management of Natural Resources etc shall be applicable in matters concerning the granting of a concession, which means interalia that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) shall be contained in an application for a concession.


An exploitation concession is granted for a period of 25 years unless the applicant requests a shorter period of time.
The concession period is extended by ten years at a time without application if regular exploitation is in progress when the period of validity expires. A shorter period may be decided at the request of the concession-holder.

Designation of land

A legal proceeding for designation of land is held at the request and cost of the concession-holder. (See Minerals' Act Chp 9 Section 20).
This determines land within the concession area which the concession-holder may use for exploitation of the mineral deposit. A decision is also taken regarding the land, within or outside the concession area, which the concessionholder may use for activities related to the exploitation. In this connection the nature of the activity shall be stated.
When an exploitation concession is terminated, the concession holder shall, at that date, forfeit the right to land assigned to him.


Among the Acts with provisions affecting the activities referred to in the Minerals Act are the following:
Planning and Building Act (1987:10), Plan- och bygglagen
Environmental Protection Act (1969:387), Miljoskyddslagen
Act (1987:12) concerning the Management of Natural Resources etc, Naturresurslagen
Act (1988:950) concerning the Cultural Heritage Management, Kulturminneslagen

If the Government has previously considered the issuing of a permit concerning the establishment of a particular plant or of any other undertaking in accordance with the Act (1987:12) Management of Natural Resources etc. chapter 4, this decison is also binding according to the Minerals Act.


Apart from the normal corporate tax, currently 28 percent, there are no additional special tax regulations appertaining to mining.


Matters related to mineral exploration and mining are handled for the Government by the

Ministry of Industry and Commerce

Under the auspieces of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce the

Geological Survey of Sweden
Box 670 Telephone +46 18 17 90 00
S-721 28 UPPSALA
Telefax +46 18 17 92 10
WWW-home page

gives general information on geological and related matters as well as advice on legal matters in connection with the mineral policy etc.
The Geological Survey also has a mineral information office at Mala in Northern Sweden, which is intended to seve the needs of mineral exploration

Geological Survey of Sweden
Mineral Resources Information Office
S-930 70 MALA
Telephone +46953 107 60
Telefax +46 953 216 86
Sweden E-mail mala@sgu.se

Compilance with the Minerals Act is policed by the Inspectors of Mining. Applications for permits or concessions should be sent to the Inspector of Mining in the district containing the concession area. There are two districts the northern district covering the northernmost four northernmost counties of Sweden and the southern district covering the rest of the country.

The Inspector of Mining, Northern District:

Bergmastarambetet i norra distriktet
Varvsgatan 41,
S-972 32 LULEÅ,
Telephone +46(0)920-23 79 00.

The Inspector of Mining, Southern District:

Bergmastarambetet i sodra distriktet
Asgatan 38
S-791 72 FALUN
Telephone +46-23 255 05
Telefax +46-23 640 63

Fee for exploration permits (the first three years)

Application fee for exploration permits:
Oil, gaseous hydrocarbons and diamonds 6 000 SEK
Other minerals 300 SEK
Fee related to area applied for:
Diamonds: 1.50 SEK per hectare
Oil and gaseous hydrocarbons : 3 SEK per hectare
Other minerals: 15 SEK per hectare
Minimum fee is 100 SEK.

If an area (permitted for "other minerals") is reduced during the initial three years of an exploration permit the fee will be reimbursed with:
During the first year 13 SEK per reduced hectare
During the second year 9 SEK per reduced hectare

Don't hesitate to contact us if You have any questions. You are of course welcome to visit us and have a closer look at the information that we can offer You. Hope to see You soon.

News about Mineral's Act

From Exploration Newsletter / What's up in Sweden. May 1998

The Government submitted a proposal to adjustments of the Mineral's Act to the Swedish Parliament.

The proposal was based mainly on the report "Mines and the Future" (SOU 1996:152, Gruvorna och
framtiden). The proposal was approved on 19 March 1998 and the changes will come into force on 1 July

The main changes are:

The Mining inspectors has merged into one Mining Inspect orate located in Luleå, Northern Sweden. The southern office in Falun will continue for the time beeing.

For more information concerning the legal aspects please contact the Mining Inspectarate+46-920-237 900


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