Mineral Extraction and Archaeology: A Practice Guide

This document has been prepared by the Minerals and Historic Environment Forum as an aid to planning authorities, mineral planners, mineral operators, archaeologists and consultants. It provides guidance specifically for dealing with archaeological remains as part of mineral development through the planning process.

The principal purpose of this Practice Guide is to provide clear and practical guidance on the archaeological evaluation of mineral development sites, particularly for the determination of individual planning applications for minerals development. It should ensure that adequate information is acquired in a cost-effective way so that an informed planning decision can be made. The guide also provides some information on the mitigation techniques that could be employed.

This Practice Guide deals specifically with land-based mineral extraction in England. It is confined to archaeological considerations and does not cover standing buildings for which other guidance exists.

On 27 March 2012, the Government published the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The NPPF supersedes Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment (PPS5) (which replaced Planning Policy Guidance 15: Planning and the Historic Environment (PPG15) and Planning Policy Guidance 16: Archaeology and Planning (PPG16) in 2010); and Planning Policy Statement 1: Delivering Sustainable Development, (PPS1) as Government Policy on the management of change to the Historic Environment in England.

The NPPF also supersedes Minerals Policy Statement 1: Planning and Minerals (MPS1); Minerals Policy Statement 2: Controlling and Mitigating the Environmental Effects of Minerals Extraction in England (MPS2); Minerals Planning Guidance 2: Applications, permissions and conditions (MPG2); Minerals Planning Guidance 3: Coal Mining and Colliery Spoil Disposal (MPG3); Minerals Planning Guidance 5: Stability in surface mineral workings and tips (MPG5); Minerals Planning Guidance 7: Reclamation of minerals workings (MPG7); Minerals Planning Guidance 10: Provisions of raw material for the cement industry (MPG10); Minerals Planning Guidance 13: Guidance for peat provision in England (MPG13); and Minerals Planning Guidance 15: Provision of silica sand in England (MPG15) as Government Policy on Facilitating the Sustainable Use of Minerals.

Whilst some of the references in this document may now be out-of-date, Historic England believes that it does still contain useful advice, guidance and case studies.

For further enquiries, please email [email protected].


  • Introduction
  • Agreed basis for the guide
  • The planning process
  • Techniques
  • References and key publications
  • Sources of useful information and advice


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