Under the Mineral Development Act (NI) 1969, minerals (other than gold and silver, and a few other minor exceptions) are vested with the Department for the Economy, (DfE). Responsibility for gold and silver rests with the Crown Estate Commissioners, (CEC). Companies wishing to prospect for base metals should apply to the Department for the Economy, (DfE), and those wishing to prospect for gold and silver should apply to the Crown Estate Commissioners, (CEC).

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