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Mining waste

If you manage extractive waste then this activity may be a mining waste operation, which is regulated under the Environmental Permitting Regulations

Do you need to apply for a permit?

  • Extractive waste may be produced as a result of the onshore prospecting, extraction, treatment and storage of mineral resources and the working of quarries. It may be:
  • waste solids or slurries that remain after the treatment of minerals by a number of techniques
  • rock and overburden that extractive operations move during the process of assessing an ore or mineral body, including during the pre-production stage
  • soil, for example the upper layer of the ground, including sub-soil

Read the interpretation of the definition of extractive waste on th Environment Agency's website. This position statement describes the principles we will apply in assessing whether materials arising during an extraction process are extractive waste. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Minerals Group has also produced a guidance note that explains how to make the assessment, and submit it to us, in a consistent and cost-effective way. The deposit of unpolluted soils, some wastes arising from prospecting mineral resources and peat workings: All mining waste operations need an environmental permit. However, we are currently looking at options to allow the deposit of the following to be regulated through a different route:

  • non-hazardous waste generated from the prospecting of mineral resources (except oil and evaporates, other than gypsum and anhydrite)
  • waste resulting from the extraction, storage and treatment of peat
  • unpolluted soil

Until these options are finalised and any necessary change made to the legal framework, we will not require a permit for deposit of these materials. We ask that you register this activity instead. The registration process is explained in Regulatory Position Statement (RPS042).

Transition to the mining waste regulations

EPR sets out transitional provisions for existing mining waste operations, whether or not they involve existing mining waste facilities. These are summarised in the transitional provisions document see link below.

Types of permit available

We have two types of permit available: standard rules and bespoke.

A standard rules permit for the management of inert extractive waste (without a point source discharge to water).

Make sure you understand the standard rules set, that it describes exactly what you want to do and that you will be able to meet the requirements of the rules. Read carefully through the full standard rules set and associated generic risks assessment. If you cannot comply with any of the standard rules, you must apply for a bespoke permit.

The standard rules permits available for mining waste and the accompanying generic risk assessments for each, are on our Apply for a standard permit for waste activities page.

A bespoke permit for any other mining waste operations. This includes new mining waste operations with new water discharges, Category A sites, and sites not dealing with inert waste. Water discharges are also regulated under the Environmental Permitting Regulations.

If you have an existing permitted water discharge from a mining operation, that is now deemed to be an environmental permit. We recommend that, if appropriate, the permit is varied to add the requirements for the mining waste operation.

Before you apply for a permit, we recommend that you read our regulatory framework for the implementation of the Mining Waste Directive (see link below). For further information please refer to our technical guidance note EPR 6.14 How to comply with your environmental permit. Additional guidance for mining waste operations (see link below).

Making an application

There are specific application forms which must be used to apply for a new bespoke or standard permit, or to vary, transfer or surrender your permit. The parts of the form you need to complete will depend on your specific site. We expect the majority of mining waste permits to be for inert extractive waste and not Category A sites.

Look at our How to apply for an environmental permit page before you apply, for up-to-date information on the application process.

The most frequent application scenarios are summarised below:

  1. If you wish to apply for a permit for a new inert mining waste operation that does not have an integral water discharge activity, complete forms A, B1 and F1
  2. If you wish to apply for a new permit for a new inert mining waste operation that also requires an integral water discharge, complete forms A, B2, B5, B6, F1 and F2
  3. If you have an existing permit for a water discharge activity and you wish to vary this permit by adding the requirements for an inert mining waste operation, complete forms A, C1 and F1. Please note, if the discharge is an integral discharge (in other words, the discharge is part of the mining waste operation) your site plan must show the location of the discharge. Please see related links to apply for a permit

Application forms

When opening the forms, you may need to click 'View, Edit document' or 'Enable content'. Look at our How to apply for an environmental permit page for more information on using our application forms.

Once you have selected the right parts of the form you only need to fill in the sections of that form which are relevant to your application.

Part A

Application form Part A - About you

Guidance notes Part A - How to complete Part A of our application form

Part B

Application Form Part B2 - Apply for a bespoke permit: General

Guidance notes Part B2 - How to complete Part B2 of our application form

Application Form Part B4 - Apply for bespoke Waste facilities

Guidance notes Part B4 - How to complete Part B4 of our application form

Application Form Part B5 - Apply for bespoke mining waste operations

Guidance notes Part B5 - How to complete Part B5 of our application form

Application Form Part B6 - Apply for bespoke water discharge and groundwater (point source) activities

Guidance notes Part B6 - How to complete Part B6 of our application form

Part C

Application Form Part C1 - Varying a permit to change to, or to add a standard facility

Guidance notes Part C1 - How to complete Part C1 of our application form

Application Form Part C5 -  Varying a water discharge permit to become a mining waste operation permit, or varying a bespoke mining waste permit

Guidance notes Part C5 - How to complete Part C5 of our application form

Part F

Application Form Part F1 - Opra, charges and declarations

Guidance notes Part F1 - How to complete Part F1 of our application form

Application Form Part F2 - Charging for discharges (C for D) charges and declarations

Guidance notes Part F2 - How to complete Part F2 of our application form

Credit and Debit card payment form CC1

Help with your application

General enquiries email - enquiries@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk
General enquiries number - 0300 065 3000

Permit Receipt Centre
Natural Resources Wales
29 Newport Road
Cambria House
Cardiff
CF24 0TP

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