Poland’s Mineral Resources Policy

Mineral Management

Mineral Management

“Poland’s Mineral Resources Policy” is a report presented recently at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków. Its editor, Professor Jerzy Hausner, who is also a former deputy Prime Minister and minister of economy, describes the report as identifying what is lacking and what is greatly needed. According to the authors, the management of mineral resources in Poland is messy and chaotic. Governmental documents address the subject in a fragmentary manner, if at all. With no comprehensive national policy in place, sometimes decisions on the exploitation of deposits which are of great significance for the whole country are made at the level of municipality. The report alleges that Poland failed to take advantage of more than a decade of booming global raw material markets. Polish metal mining, mainly that of copper, did benefit, but expanded less than it could have. Opportunities were also missed in coal mining, where the prosperous years of 2004-12 were not used to modernise and restructure the industry. As a result, major coal mining companies face bankruptcy. The report emphasises the deleterious effect of the instable laws that regulate geological and mining operations. Multiple and frequent amendments to the relevant legal regulations give rise to interpretation difficulties. The same applies to legislation on raw material sourcing and recycling. The report contains 21 recommendations for the government pertaining to Poland’s mineral resources. First of all, a long-term raw material policy needs to be defined. It should set forth guidelines on the public financing of the exploration and protection of the most valuable mineral deposits. The document should also list critical resources such as beryllium, gallium, graphite, indium, cobalt, lithium and rare earth elements. Decisions on the implementation of the policy should be centralised. The reports suggests vesting the responsibility for decisions on land management, legislation, regulation and operations in the ministry of the environment, while entrusting the decisions on owner supervision and management to the ministry of economy acting in consultation with the ministry of treasury. Furthermore, a modern geological and mining code should be developed. Stable rules of licensing and taxation are another factor conducive to efficient mineral resources management.
Puls Biznesu

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