New Minerals Resource Map 24 May 2012
Resource map of Northern Ireland launched
Alex Attwood and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment Arlene Foster
today launched a Minerals Resources Map of Northern Ireland.
The map will provide planners, industry and local communities with a powerful tool to assist future decisions on a county–by–county basis in relation to the continued supply of minerals and in the protection of the environment.
In essence, local industry will be able to use local minerals more effectively. Salt to keep roads clear in winter, aggregates and other robust materials to support the local construction industry, mineral supplements for the animal feeds industry as well as base metals to sustain local manufacturing industry will all be more accessible.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: “This is a remarkable map. There has never been such a picture of the resources under the ground we walk. It is a major tool to help understand the rocks from which we obtain fossil fuels – relevant to our energy needs; geothermal ‘hotspots’ – relevant to renewable energy; areas of environmental designation – relevant to preservation of our natural heritage.
“This resources snapshot will also be an essential planning and economic tool. The new Minerals Resources Map will empower all users to readily examine the potential for particular minerals across Northern Ireland, and will facilitate a planned future of our limited natural resources and environment for generations to come. It is also a fascinating picture of Northern Ireland resources, environmental concerns and economic opportunities. ”
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “Mineral resources are valuable national assets that are vital to a modern economy. They are essential raw materials, which underpin many industries including manufacturing, construction, power generation and transportation. Global competition for mineral supplies is increasing.
“Local mineral resources are critical to the development of a sustainable economy and it makes good sense to use them where it is economically viable and environmentally sustainable to do so.
“Northern Ireland’s varied geology means it has significant potential for a wide range of mineral resources – including aggregates, industrial minerals, precious and base metals and fossil fuels.”