The government has endorsed initiating a plan which would investigate, among other things, exploiting Harju County's mineral resources.
Harju County is by far the most populous of Estonia's 15 counties and includes the capital, Tallinn. Since 2018, the Estonian Geological Survey (Eesti Geoloogiateenistus) has been charting the locations of deposits of mineral resources used in construction county-by-county, analyzing the data concerning mineral resources and assessing the possibility of use and extraction of mineral resources.
Environment minister Rene Kokk (EKRE) said that in current, existing county and general spatial plans, only the deposits which have been registered are displayed, rather than potential new extraction areas.
"The purpose of the county mineral resources' thematic plan is to determine the locations of open pit mines and exploration areas for mineral resources used in construction and peat, as well as extensions of existing open pit mines. The areas will be determined based on the interests of the state and in collaboration with municipalities and local communities," the minister said.
"Economic, cultural and social impacts and impacts to be exerted on the natural environment must be taken into consideration equally. When plans are known long in advance, people can take them into account," Kokk went on.
The Ministry of the Environment is to forward a corresponding initiative to the Ministry of Finance by July 1, environment ministry spokespersons told BNS Thursday.
Editor: Andrew Whyte