Administration of land-based raw materials excavation

What are mineral and raw material resource depos​​​its?

Sand, gravel, rocks and clay are prevalent just beneath the ground surface in Denmark, however the mineral and raw material resources found in the subsurface are a resource that we cannot replenish. The most common mineral resources extracted in the region include sand, rocks and gravel, all of which are primarily found in melt water deposits near the ground surface.

There are considerable geographical differences in the structure and content of the upper geological layers in Denmark, even within the short distances in the Capital Region of Denmark. The local differences in the structure and landscape can be decisive for the extent of the individual layer and, for example, whether a sand and gravel layer can be described as a mineral and raw material resources deposit.​

The Danish regional councils are the authority for regulation on land-based raw material excavation.

The Regional Councils are responsible for exploration, planning and issuing permits for excavation of raw materials (e.g. aggregates, clay, peat, chalk and limestone). However, identified raw material resource deposits are owned by the respective landowners. Land-based exploration can also be carried out on private initiative based on a contract between a private business and a landowner. Private businesses can also suggest areas for exploration to the regional authority to include in the regional raw material resource plans.

Permits for excavation are generally issued to private businesses who have either entered into a contract with a land owner or purchased the land area they wish to excavate.

Planning procedure

The Regional Councils develop and issue a plan for excavation and supply based on findings from their own exploration and well documented suggestions from private businesses. New excavation areas and areas with raw material potential are selected partly on basis of an overall assessment of the quality and volume of the resource and expected developments in a specific region and partly on basis of considerations relating to other land-use matters, such as nature and environmental protection areas, groundwater extraction areas, archaeological preserved areas, planned infrastructure and urban development areas. The regions also conduct a mandatory environmental impact assessment (EIA) on the plan. A public hearing process of at least 8 weeks is mandatory in each revision of the plan, where everyone can comment or express reservations towards the proposed areas.

The raw materials plans for the five Danish regions cover the expected demand for raw materials within their particular region in a 12 year period. The plan is evaluated every 4 years and can be revised if needed. Generally the Capital Region revises its plan every 4 years to appoint new areas for excavation to replace the resources that have been utilized in the intervening 4 years.

If you wish to obtain further information on the Capital Regions' work regarding land-based raw materials you can inquire at raastoffer@region.dk

You can also find more information on the Danish version of the website. 

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