Exploration and Mining is regulated by the Swedish Minerals Act. The Chief Mining Inspector is the head of the Mining Inspectorate, which is the supervisory authority dealing with matters relating to exploration, mining and extraction of minerals. Any search for minerals requires an exploration permit issued by the Chief Mining Inspector and an applicable work permit drawn up by the operator.
The operator must also comply with the permit requirements and obligations that are regulated in the Environmental Code. The Mineral Act regulates both who gets the exclusive right to investigate the bedrock geology and who gets preferential rights to mining.
Additional permits may also be necessary as the Mineral Act applies in parallel with other legislation. If a viable mineral deposit is found, a long application process for various permits involving several decision-making bodies follows before any mining may commence. Among other things, the operator must apply for a mining concession from the Mining Inspectorate. In addition to this, the operator's, landowner's and interested parties' rights and responsibilities are subject to the provisions of the Mineral Act.