Mining Act

Link to law: https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/ee/Riigikogu/act/526012015002/consolide
Published: 2015-01-01

Mining Act

Passed 29.01.2003
RT I 2003, 20, 118
entry into force pursuant to § 40
Amended by the following legal instruments (show)

Passed
Published
Entry into force

10.03.2004
RT I 2004, 18, 131
15.04.2004

23.11.2004
RT I 2004, 84, 572
01.04.2005

22.11.2007
RT I 2007, 66, 408
01.01.2008

15.05.2008
RT I 2008, 22, 148
01.09.2008

19.06.2008
RT I 2008, 30, 191
01.09.2008

10.12.2009
RT I 2009, 63, 408
28.12.2009

22.04.2010
RT I 2010, 22, 108
01.01.2011, enters into force on the date which has been determined in the Decision of the Council of the European Union regarding the abrogation of the derogation established in respect of the Republic of Estonia on the basis provided for in Article 140(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Council Decision 2010/416/EU of 13 July 2010 (OJ L 196, 28.07.2010, pp. 24–26).

05.05.2010
RT I 2010, 24, 115
01.09.2010

20.05.2010
RT I 2010, 31, 158
01.10.2010

17.02.2011
RT I, 21.03.2011, 1
01.01.2012

23.02.2011
RT I, 25.03.2011, 1
01.01.2014; date of entry into force amended to 01.07.2014 [RT I, 22.12.2013, 1]

05.12.2013
RT I, 22.12.2013, 1
01.01.2014

19.02.2014
RT I, 13.03.2014, 4
01.07.2014

05.06.2014
RT I, 29.06.2014, 1
01.07.2014

19.06.2014
RT I, 12.07.2014, 1
01.01.2015

19.06.2014
RT I, 29.06.2014, 109
01.07.2014, the titles of ministers replaced on the basis of subsection 107³ (4) of the Government of the Republic Act.

Chapter 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS  

§ 1.  Scope of application of Act

(1) With the aim of ensuring the safety of persons, property and the environment, and the economical use of mineral deposits, this Act provides requirements for:
1) mining and the secondary utilisation of underground workings;
2) plans for mining and the secondary utilisation of underground workings;
3) undertakings engaged in mining, the secondary utilisation of underground workings or preparation of plans for such work;
4) specialists in charge and authorities assessing and attesting the conformity thereof;
5) liability and state supervision.
(2) The safety requirements arising from § 4 of this Act extend to activities which are not mining or the secondary utilisation of underground workings but which involve hazards characteristic of areas of activity involving particular risks as specified in § 15.
(3) With the exception of the safety requirements provided for in § 4 of this Act, the requirements provided by this Act do not extend to natural persons who are the owners of registered immovables and who have the right, on the basis of the Earth's Crust Act, to extract mineral resources present on the registered immovables for their personal households without an extraction permit.
[RT I 2004, 84, 572 - entry into force 01.04.2005]

§ 2.  Application of other Acts

(1) Where the prevention of hazards which may be caused to persons, property or the environment by mining or the secondary utilisation of underground workings is regulated by another Act or legislation established on the basis thereof, the requirements arising from the other Act or legislation established on the basis thereof apply with the specifications arising from this Act.
(2) The occupational health and safety requirements for mining and the secondary utilisation of underground workings arise from the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
(3) The provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act apply to the administrative proceedings prescribed in this Act with the specifications arising from this Act.
(4) The provisions of the Building Act apply to geotechnical site investigations and geodetic surveys. The provisions of the Building Act apply to the building of underground construction works with the specifications arising from this Act. The provisions of the Building Act do not apply to the building and use of underground construction works which are part of a working mine.

§ 3.  Definitions for purposes of this Act

(1) The following are mining:
1) work in the earth's crust for the purpose of utilising mineral resources which is performed upon the winning thereof, upon the erection of underground workings, during geological explorations or upon the building of underground construction works which are parts of mines;
[RT I 2004, 84, 572 - entry into force 01.04.2005]
2) transport operations related to the extraction or primary processing of mineral resources;
[RT I 2004, 84, 572 - entry into force 01.04.2005]
3) the primary processing of mineral resources, including industrial crushing, sizing, dewatering, briquetting and storage of mineral resources; or
[RT I 2004, 84, 572 - entry into force 01.04.2005]
4) the placement of heaps or the maintenance (recultivation) of extracted areas or heaps.
[RT I 2008, 22, 148 - entry into force 01.09.2008]
(2) An underground working is an empty space in the earth's crust covered by a natural layer where persons can stay due to the size and accessibility of the space, and other empty spaces in the earth's crust which present hazards characteristic of underground workings and where persons can stay.
(3) The secondary utilisation of underground workings (hereinafter secondary utilisation of workings) is the use of underground workings for purposes which involve the presence of persons in the underground workings but which are not related to mining.
(4) An underground construction works is a civil engineering works which is created within an underground working as a result of human activity and which is not a part of a working mine.
(5) A mine is a production unit involved in the mining of mineral resources which consists of the civil engineering works or buildings necessary to mine the mineral resources. Mines are divided into open-cast mines or quarries and underground mines.
[RT I 2008, 22, 148 - entry into force 01.09.2008]

Chapter 2 MINING AND SECONDARY UTILISATION OF WORKINGS  

§ 4.  Safety requirements

(1) The safety of persons, property and the environment shall be ensured during mining and the secondary utilisation of workings.
(2) At the site of the mining or the secondary utilisation of a working (hereinafter site), measures shall be taken to:
1) prevent, detect and control fires, explosions and the creation and spread of environments dangerous to heath;
2) ensure the existence of warning systems and other systems of communication which are sufficient to ensure that assistance, evacuation and rescue operations can be commenced without delay and performed smoothly;
3) mark and delimit danger zones;
4) prevent an inrush of water when work is performed in the vicinity of flooded workings;
5) prevent the ground from sinking or collapsing, or to keep such situations under control.
(3) Pursuant to the procedure prescribed by the safety requirements established on the basis of subsection (5) of this section, records shall be kept regarding persons staying in underground workings. Persons staying in underground workings shall be equipped with the necessary protective equipment.
(4) [Repealed - RT I 2010, 24, 115 - entry into force 01.09.2010]
(5) Safety requirements for mining and the secondary utilisation of workings shall be established by the minister responsible for the area.

§ 41.  Rescue work in underground civil engineering works

(1) Rescue work in underground construction works and underground workings and in buildings and civil engineering works located on the surface which are directly connected thereto (hereinafter underground civil engineering works) shall be organised by the mine rescue service.
(2) The provision of mine rescue services in underground civil engineering works shall be ensured by the extracting person or the person performing the secondary utilisation of the underground working.
(3) The procedure for rescue work in underground civil engineering works and for co-operation with rescue service agencies and the requirements for rescue work in underground civil engineering works shall be established by a regulation of the Government of the Republic.
[RT I 2010, 24, 115 - entry into force 01.09.2010]

§ 5.  Suspension and termination of mining

(1) Mining shall be suspended or terminated at the mining site in a manner which ensures the safety of persons, property and the environment and which leaves it possible for the remaining mineral resources to be extracted later.
(2) The suspension of mining is a temporary or long-term stoppage in the mining of mineral resources for economic reasons or as the result of an accident which calls for a longer period of maintenance work. Any short-term stoppage of mining which is necessary for the repair of equipment or maintenance of the site is not deemed to be suspension of mining.
(3) The termination of mining is the ending of the mining of mineral resources for the purposes of closing the mine or quarry.
(4) The procedure for the suspension and termination of mining shall be established by the minister responsible for the area.
[RT I 2004, 84, 572 - entry into force 01.04.2005]

§ 6.  Permit for secondary utilisation of workings, and building permit and permit for use of underground construction works

(1) A building permit issued on the basis of the Building Act is required in order to build an underground construction works. Upon application for a building permit, the building design documentation for the underground construction works shall conform to the requirements set for building design documentation by the Building Act and shall be prepared taking the relevant mining conditions into consideration.
(2) A permit for use of a construction works which is issued on the basis of the Building Act is required for the use of an underground construction works or the secondary utilisation of a working. Corresponding approval from the Technical Surveillance Authority shall be appended to an application for a permit for use of a construction works. The Technical Surveillance Authority shall inspect the respective underground construction works or the underground working where the secondary utilisation operations are to be performed. On the basis of the results of the inspection, the Technical Surveillance Authority shall grant permission for the use of the underground construction works or for the secondary utilisation of the working or shall refuse to grant such permission if the measures applied do not ensure the safety of persons, property and the environment.
[RT I 2007, 66, 408 - entry into force 01.01.2008]

§ 7.  Plans for mining and secondary utilisation of workings

(1) A plan for mining or the secondary utilisation of a working (hereinafter plan) is a set of documents which is necessary to conduct mining operations or the secondary utilisation of a working and which includes:
1) the layout of the mine or of the working subject to secondary utilisation;
2) geological drawings;
3) plans of the technology to be used;
4) a letter of explanation containing a description of the measures to be applied for the protection of persons, property and the environment, and, in the case of mining, a description of the recultivation of extracted areas and of the mining conditions and the technology to be used;
5) other documents prescribed by legislation.
(2) The plan shall be prepared in accordance with the primary purpose to such an extent and in such a form that mining operations or the secondary utilisation of a working can be carried out on the basis thereof.
(3) The requirements for plans for mining and the secondary utilisation of workings shall be established by the minister responsible for the area.

§ 8.  Mine survey operations and mine surveying documentation

(1) Mine survey operations are the survey and documentation of the mining of mineral resources.
(2) Mine survey operations shall be conducted upon the construction of underground workings. Mine survey operations shall be organised in such a way that it is subsequently possible for the survey results to be verified on the basis of the relevant documentation.
(3) Mine survey operations shall be conducted in order to ensure:
1) that workings are excavated in accordance with the design documentation;
2) that the work performed is surveyed and documented;
3) that the amount of mineral resources won and the size of the mineral resource deposit are determined;
4) that mine surveying documentation is prepared.
(4) Survey work during mine survey operations shall be performed in compliance with the valid geodetic system.
(5) The procedure for mine survey operations shall be established by the minister responsible for the area.
[RT I 2004, 84, 572 - entry into force 01.04.2005]

Chapter 3 HOLDERS OF EXPLORATION AND EXTRACTION PERMITS, AND UNDERTAKINGS  

§ 9.  Holders of exploration and extraction permits

(1) For the purposes of this Act, the holder of an exploration or extraction permit is a person to whom such a permit has been issued or transferred on the basis of the Earth's Crust Act.
(2) The holder of an exploration or extraction permit shall ensure that the plan for mining is prepared and the mining operations are conducted by a person specified in § 10 of this Act who undertakes to adhere to the conditions set by the exploration or extraction permit.

§ 10.  Right to operate as undertaking

[Repealed - RT I, 25.03.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.07.2014 (entry into force amended - RT I, 22.12.2013, 1)]

§ 11.  Obligations of undertakings engaged in mining or secondary utilisation of workings

An undertaking engaged in mining or the secondary utilisation of workings shall ensure compliance with the requirements arising from this Act, including doing the following:
1) perform the mining operations or the secondary utilisation of workings in compliance with the plan prepared according to the relevant requirements;
2) possess adequate means for mining or the secondary utilisation of workings in compliance with the relevant requirements;
3) only engage persons who have sufficient professional training for mining or the secondary utilisation of workings;
4) appoint a specialist in charge and ensure that his or her duties are performed;
5) ensure that records are kept regarding persons staying in the underground workings;
6) inform the holder of an exploration or extraction permit of any deviation from the requirements set by the exploration or extraction permit or the plan;
7) immediately inform the Technical Surveillance Authority of any accident or extensive breakdown at the site.
[RT I 2007, 66, 408 - entry into force 01.01.2008]

§ 12.  Obligations of undertakings engaged in preparation of plans

An undertaking engaged in the preparation of plans shall ensure compliance with the requirements arising from this Act, including doing the following:
1) ensure that the plans conform to the requirements;
2) ensure that the plans conform to the primary purpose;
3) ensure that the plans are prepared by persons with sufficient professional training therefor;
4) appoint a specialist in charge and ensure that his or her duties are performed;
5) preserve in full all plans prepared thereby for at least seven years after the termination of work carried out on the basis of such plans.

§ 13.  Mandatory documentation for undertakings engaged in mining or secondary utilisation of workings

(1) An undertaking engaged in mining or the secondary utilisation of workings shall have the following documents:
1) a plan for mining or the secondary utilisation of workings;
2) documents concerning risk assessment;
3) occupational safety instructions and instructions for the use of equipment and machinery;
4) mine surveying documentation.
(2) In addition to the documents specified in subsection (1) of this section, an undertaking engaged in underground work shall also have the following documents:
1) a plan to remedy the effects of accidents;
2) a procedure for keeping records regarding persons staying underground;
3) dewatering, ventilation and electrical supply plans, and other technological plans.
(3) An undertaking engaged in mining of mineral resources shall prepare a development plan for each calendar year or for a longer period divided into years and shall submit the plan to the local government of the location of the mining site for information purposes if the local government so requires. The purpose of a development plan covering the activities of an undertaking is to ensure effective control over the environmental impact of the mining operations and to ensure the optimum scope of the operations.
[RT I 2004, 84, 572 - entry into force 01.04.2005]
(4) The requirements for the mandatory documentation for undertakings engaged in mining or the secondary utilisation of workings shall be established by the minister responsible for the area.
(5) Undertakings engaged in underground work shall ensure that the location maps of the underground workings are preserved and submitted to the National Archives for permanent preservation in compliance with the Archives Act.
[RT I, 21.03.2011, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2012]

Chapter 4 SPECIALIST IN CHARGE  

§ 14.  Specialist in charge

(1) A specialist in charge is a person who:
1) is competent to organise and direct mining operations, the secondary utilisation of workings or the preparation of relevant plans in compliance with the requirements provided by legislation;
2) undertakes to ensure that the requirements provided by this Act and legislation established on the basis thereof are complied with during mining, the secondary utilisation of workings or the preparation of relevant plans.
(2) The appointment of a specialist in charge does not release an undertaking from the liability arising from mining, the secondary utilisation of workings or the preparation of relevant plans.

§ 15.  Requirements for specialists in charge in certain areas of activity

(1) A specialist in charge employed by an undertaking engaged in an area of activity involving particular risks shall have a level of professional training, work experience and knowledge which ensures the safety of work performed under his or her direction in the corresponding area of activity.
(2) A specialist in charge employed by an undertaking engaged in the preparation of plans in an area of activity involving particular risks shall have undergone training corresponding to the area of activity and have at least three years' professional work experience to ensure that the plans prepared conform to the requirements.
[RT I 2008, 22, 148 - entry into force 01.09.2008]
(3) The competence of the specialist in charge specified in subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall be attested in conformity with § 17 of this Act or the specialist in charge shall hold a professional certificate within the meaning of the Professions Act, which allows him or her to direct and be responsible for the work of others.
[RT I, 29.06.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.07.2014]
(31) If a person has acquired professional qualifications of the required level in a foreign country within the meaning of the Recognition of Foreign Professional Qualifications Act, the Recognition of Foreign Professional Qualifications Act applies to the recognition thereof.
[RT I 2008, 30, 191 - entry into force 01.09.2008]
(4) For the purposes of this Act, the following are areas of activity involving particular risks:
1) underground work;
2) underwater mining at a depth of more than two metres, with the exception of the extraction of mud;
3) mining operations where blasting work is performed by the undertaking itself;
4) oil shale mining;
5) mining in a quarry if the extraction permit issued for the quarry sets out a maximum annual production of over 200,000 tonnes;
6) mining in a quarry where the height of the bench face is more than five metres.

§ 16.  Duties of specialist in charge

(1) A specialist in charge is required to ensure:
1) that work is performed in accordance with the plans;
2) that the safety requirements and other requirements arising from this Act are complied with upon the performance of work;
3) that work is performed by persons with professional training who have at their disposal the necessary documentation and means to perform the work and who are adequately instructed to perform the work in compliance with the requirements;
4) the safe use of the site;
5) that documentation of the work is organised.
(2) In accordance with the volume of work and the line of activity, a specialist in charge may appoint responsible supervisors whose duties include organising work, instructing workers and ensuring safety at specific stages of the work.

Chapter 5 AUTHORITY ASSESSING AND ATTESTING CONFORMITY OF PERSONS  

§ 17.  Assessment and attestation of conformity of persons

(1) For the purposes of this Act, assessment and attestation of the conformity of a person is a procedure in the course of which the conformity of a specialist in charge is assessed and attested by way of the issue of a corresponding certificate of competency.
(2) In assessing and attesting the conformity of a person, the conformity of the person with the requirements provided for in § 15 of this Act is assessed and his or her knowledge of legislation relating to the corresponding area of activity is tested.
(3) The procedure for assessment and attestation of the conformity of persons shall be established by the minister responsible for the area.

§ 18.  Authority assessing and attesting conformity of persons

[Repealed - RT I, 29.06.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.07.2014]

§ 19.  Liability insurance

[Repealed - RT I, 29.06.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.07.2014]

Chapter 6 ACTIVITY LICENCE  

§ 20. – § 23. [Repealed - RT I, 29.06.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.07.2014]

§ 24.  [Repealed - RT I 2004, 18, 131 - entry into force 15.04.2004]

Chapter 7 STATE SUPERVISION  

§ 25.  State supervision

[RT I, 13.03.2014, 4 - entry into force 01.07.2014]
(1) State supervision over the fulfilment of the requirements established in this Act and legislation established on the basis thereof shall be exercised by the Technical Surveillance Authority.
(2) The following are within the competence of the Technical Surveillance Authority:
1) supervision over the safe organisation of work at the site and over the operation of authorities assessing and attesting the conformity of persons;
2) investigation of the causes of breakdowns or accidents at the site;
3) issue of precepts and making of decisions;
4) inspection of plans.
[RT I, 13.03.2014, 4 - entry into force 01.07.2014]

§ 26.  Competence of authority

[Repealed - RT I, 13.03.2014, 4 - entry into force 01.07.2014]

§ 27.  Specific state supervision measures

[RT I, 13.03.2014, 4 - entry into force 01.07.2014]
(1) In order to exercise state supervision provided for in this Act, the Technical Surveillance Authority may apply the specific state supervision measures provided for in §§ 30, 31, 32, 49, 50 and 51 of the Law Enforcement Act on the basis of and pursuant to the procedure provided for in the Law Enforcement Act.
(2) The Technical Surveillance Authority may enter the premises of undertakings pursuant to the procedure provided for in § 50 of the Law Enforcement Act.
[RT I, 13.03.2014, 4 - entry into force 01.07.2014]

§ 271.  Specifications concerning state supervision

(1) A law enforcement authority may enter the premises of undertakings pursuant to the procedure provided for in § 50 of the Law Enforcement Act.
(2) A law enforcement authority has the right to make a decision of deletion from the register of a person which holds a registration in the register in the following cases:
1) upon repeated failure to comply with a precept;
2) if the person does not comply with the requirements set for operation in the relevant area of activity.
[RT I, 13.03.2014, 4 - entry into force 01.07.2014]

§ 28.  Precept

[Repealed - RT I, 13.03.2014, 4 - entry into force 01.07.2014]

§ 29.  Contestation of precept or act

[Repealed - RT I, 13.03.2014, 4 - entry into force 01.07.2014]

§ 30.  Inspection of plans

[Repealed - RT I, 13.03.2014, 4 - entry into force 01.07.2014]

Chapter 8 LIABILITY  

§ 31.  [Repealed - RT I 2004, 18, 131 - entry into force 15.04.2004]

§ 32.  Violation of requirements for preparation of mandatory documentation for mining or secondary utilisation of workings

[RT I, 12.07.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2015]
(1) Violation of the requirements for preparation of mandatory documentation for mining or secondary utilisation of workings
is punishable by a fine of up to 300 fine units.
[RT I, 12.07.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2015]
(2) The same act, if committed by a legal person,
is punishable by a fine of up to 3,200 euros.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 - entry into force 01.01.2011]

§ 321.  Failure to give notification of accident

(1) Failure to give notification of an accident which brought about a fall or resulted in damage to the property of the miner or a third person
is punishable by a fine of up to 300 fine units.
(2) The same act, if committed by a legal person,
is punishable by a fine of up to 3200 euros.
[RT I, 12.07.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2015]

§ 33.  Violation of requirements for assessment and attestation of conformity of persons

(1) Violation of the requirements for assessment and attestation of the conformity of persons by an authority assessing and attesting the conformity of persons
is punishable by a fine of up to 300 fine units.
(2) The same act, if committed by a legal person,
is punishable by a fine of up to 3,200 euros.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 - entry into force 01.01.2011]

§ 34.  Proceedings

Extra-judicial proceedings concerning the misdemeanours provided for in §§ 32–33 of this Act shall be conducted by the Technical Surveillance Authority.
[RT I, 12.07.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2015]

Chapter 9 IMPLEMENTING PROVISIONS  

§ 35.  Transitional provisions

(1) Undertakings to which, prior to the entry into force of this Act, an activity licence for mining operations or geological operations has been issued with a term of validity which expires after the entry into force of this Act may continue to operate on the basis of the activity licence in the area of activity and until the date specified therein.
(2) Undertakings specified in § 10 of this Act may operate until 1 May 2004 without being registered in the register specified in § 20 of this Act.
(3) Certificates issued on the basis of § 15 of the Technical Supervision Act prior to the entry into force of this Act are valid until the end of their period of validity and, in accordance with the scope of competence granted thereby, shall be considered to be equivalent to the certificates of competency required of specialists in charge.
(4) If no authority has been granted the right to award professions or assess and attest the conformity of persons, the functions related to assessment of the competence of specialists in charge shall be performed by the Technical Surveillance Authority. State fees shall be paid for acts performed by the authority related to assessment and attestation of the conformity of persons (issue and extension of certificates of competency).
[RT I 2008, 22, 148 - entry into force 01.09.2008]
§ 36. – § 39. [Omitted from this text.]

§ 40.  Entry into force of Act

(1) This Act enters into force on 1 December 2003.
(2) Section 36 of this Act enters into force on 1 May 2003.
(3) The provisions contained in this Act delegating authority for the establishment of regulations of ministers enter into force on the date of publication of this Act in the Riigi Teataja. Regulations of ministers established on the basis of this Act enter into force on the date of the entry into force of this Act unless a later date is set out in the regulation.
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