In the context of the current political framework aimed at promoting the sustainable management of environmental resources and so as to respond to the indiscriminate mining and extraction of aggregates, Law 9/2020, of 22 September, was approved. The same aims at establishing the legal framework governing the exploration and extraction of aggregates throughout the national territory.
The main aspects of the new regime are as follows:
- As a rule, the extraction of sands and coastal aggregates is prohibited in the whole national territory, except in those cases expressly provided for in the law;
- Special rules regarding the extraction of sand and other coastal aggregates for scientific and academic purposes, recovery of beaches, extraction on private land and in small quantities is provided for;
- A specific procedure for requesting and granting of licenses or authorizations for the mining and extraction of aggregates is set forth;
- It is up to the Ministry in charge of the natural resources, as the competent authority, to issue licenses and authorizations;
- The definition and updating of the fees due for the licensing procedure shall be determined through a Joint Order from the Ministers in charge of the areas of Finance and Natural Resources, upon consultation with the Local Authorities and the Autonomous Region of Príncipe;
- Applicants for a license or authorization must comply with and fulfill a number of requirements, notably in respect of specific rules regarding hygiene and safety at work, protection of the environment and absence of debts to the State and Social Security.
The breach of the rules provided for in Law 9/2020 may entail civil, administrative and criminal liability. Law 9/2020, of 22 September shall come into force within one year as from the date of its publication.
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