We control rights for two different types of mineral occurrences in parts of Scotland:

  • the first is for mineral extraction on the land we manage, and will typically involve minerals like sand or stone.
  • the second is for something called ‘Mines Royal’: essentially, the right to extract naturally occurring gold and silver across most of Scotland, whomever owns the land.

We grant options and leases for our minerals, which make it possible for companies to explore and extract them. Our aim is to balance generating an income from these assets with making sure they are managed responsibly. 

Commercial exploration and development

We encourage proposals for commercial exploration and development, provided they meet statutory requirements and high environmental standards.

Each project has several requirements before it can go ahead. 

For minerals on land we manage, a project needs:

  • an option or lease from us
  • planning approval from the planning authority

For ‘Mines Royal’ activity, a project needs:

  • the same two requirements listed above, and 
  • permission from any other landowners.

Once all these requirements are in place, a developer can apply for a lease to proceed with mineral extraction, provided all the other legal and financial criteria are met.