A.1. POLICY AND REGULATIONS A.1.1. FEATURES OF NATIONAL MINING CODES OR MINERAL INDUSTRY CODE The main feature of German mining legislation is its comprehensive structure, implementing integrated risk prevention through an intermedia approach with strict requirements on concessions, health and safety, environment and other issues as well as differentiated mechanisms for compliance and monitoring. This approach directly implements the challenges of the concept of sustainable development, taking into consideration the three pillars of environmental protection, social development and economic development, with each of these three policy areas being mutually supportive of the others. ...view middle of the document...
This percentage can be reduced or raised by Ordinance if so required in order to achieve any of the following aims as set out in the Act: preventing an overall economic imbalance, preventing the risk of a distortion of competition among the companies engaged in exploration and exploitation, assuring the adequate supply of the market in raw materials, improving the exploitation of deposits or protecting other interests of the national economy. Apart from this specific levy, taxes for the mining industry are, in principle, subject to the general provisions of the tax and revenue law. A.1.3. REGULATIONS AND MECHANISMS FOR COMPLIANCE AND MONITORING
As regards regulations and mechanisms for compliance and monitoring, German mining law contains a very dense system of health and safety and environmental requirements implemented and enforced through a system of administrative acts and a whole set of mechanisms for compliance and monitoring. Mining activities are subject to a two-step authorisation procedure: • the granting of an exploration or exploitation licence that confers the exclusive right to explore for or exploit the mineral resources specified in the licence and the approval of an operations plan for concrete mining operations ranging from the beginning of exploration to the reclamation of land surfaces used by mining, e.g. shaft sinking, waste tips and so on.
In the operations plan, the operator must describe the scope, the technical execution and the duration of the project. Based on this description, the mining authority will study the project with respect to operational safety and protection of workers, surface protection, prevention of public damage and other issues. There are four kinds of operations plans: • • • • the skeleton operations plan (Rahmenbetriebsplan) the main operations plan, valid for two-year terms (Hauptbetriebsplan) the special operations plan (Sonderbetriebsplan) the mine closure operations plan (Abschlussbetriebsplan).
As regards mine inspection, the mining authority monitors compliance with the provisions of mining law. It can order implementation of the measures needed to implement mining law and counter risks. Other means of enforcing the provisions of the law, regulations and attached conditions on a licence holder or other relevant person are fines and penalties as specified in the Federal Mining Act. The Federal Mining Act and the Federal General Mining Ordinance also provide for the possibility of a financial guarantee to ensure the fulfilment of the obligations under mining law, especially restoration. As accurate surveying and reliable drawings of the whole mine are essential for reasons of safety, the mine operator must have drawings (mine plans) made and updated by a qualified surveyor for every extraction working. A.1.4. GUIDELINES FOR ARTISANAL, SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED MINING The above requirements and procedures apply to all mine operations irrespective of their size. Therefore, there are...