Why minerals rock: the UK mining and minerals industry

5th April 2018

Many people may not realise it, but the UK mining and minerals industry provides great benefits to our country…

Annually, the industry supplies £20bn worth of materials and services to our economy, a vital contribution from the sector. The industry is a key producer, provides job creation and also plays an important role in rebuilding communities. A healthy domestic minerals industry is vital for UK construction as the majority of output from the sector is used to improve housing stock, transport networks, commercial and industrial buildings, utilities, schools and hospitals.


The sector’s main aim is to supply minerals required for construction and industry at the minimum social, economic and environmental cost. The extraction of minerals is a complex process that needs to be tightly and effectively managed, following a strict set of rules and regulations. Projects must follow a series of technical standards and codes of practice, encouraging the delivery of sustainable and responsible mineral products.

When looking to mine for, and extract, minerals, there are various environmental and social impacts that you must consider and do your upmost to reduce the effect on the local area. Critically, you must be committed to the principles of sustainable development, which involves protecting and enhancing UK biodiversity, reducing carbon and other industrial emissions, maximising recycling of materials, ensuring high-quality restoration of land and improving resource efficiency.

At George F. White, the mining and minerals sector has always been a key interest for us and we’ve kept a keen eye on developments within the industry. We considered adding this sector to our services very carefully and only after we knew we had the right team on board, under the right leadership, did we choose to offer mining and minerals consultancy.

Under the direction of Mike Young, a partner at George F. White, who is also head of our Northumberland and Borders region and commercial property, our mining and minerals offering is one of our niche specialist areas of expertise where the extensive extractive industry experience of the team, which includes

Stephanie Linnell, a planning and development associate, and Andrew Rollo, head of energy, can provide consultant advice on a range of mine and minerals issues whether it’s to do with property, planning or engineering.

We can, for instance, negotiate exploration licences, mineral option agreements and leases on your behalf as well as provide minerals estate management and mining code and compulsory purchase. From a planning perspective, we offer mineral site identification and constraint mapping (GIS services and mapping surveys) and local mineral plan representations. Crucially, we can write Planning Applications and Environmental Impact Assessments for you as well as manage Public Consultation and Community Liaison programmes, which are a key part of large scale mineral projects given the corporate social responsibility issues involved in the extractive industry. We are also able to appraise planning opportunities for quarries, RMX, asphalt and cement manufacturing.

With our engineering expertise, we also offer site layout, equipment design and specification support, as well as construction and engineering site management services and infrastructure and environmental permitting.

In the last 18 months or so, the global political and economic landscape has changed dramatically. It means the mining and minerals industry has found itself in a new realm, dealing with high demand but restricted supply. It’s an interesting time for the sector, 2018 and beyond looks set to create multiple step changes, resulting in new opportunities and avenues to explore. Our team is fully equipped to assess the value and extent of your mineral resources and manage your mineral property assets.

If you’d like to know more about our mining and mineral services, and how our team can work with you, please contact: Mike Young mikeyoung@georgefwhite.co.uk or 07768 037063.

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