Exploring, extracting, or storing minerals or geothermal heat

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you want to explore, extract, or store oil, gas, or geothermal energy? Strict rules apply for these activities. You need licences from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (Ministerie van Economische Zaken, EZK). You also have to draw up a production plan or a storage plan.

Rules for mining companies

You must comply with the Mining Act (Mijnbouwwet) and the regulations based on it. These state:

State Supervision of Mines (Staatstoezicht op de Mijnen, SodM, in Dutch) oversees mineral and energy extraction in the Netherlands.

Various licences

Each step in the process of mining has its own, specific licence. For example for seismic surveys, exploration drilling, or the actual production process. You can obtain application forms for one of these licences from the NL Oil and Gas Portal.

Depending on the location and the circumstances, you may also need licences based on other laws. Examples include aspects relating to the environment and land use. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy issues the environmental license based on the Mining Act.

Production plan and storage plan

If you want to extract geothermal energy or minerals, you have to draw up a production plan (winningsplan, in Dutch). In this you describe among others how much minerals you are going to extract and how. To store a substance subsurface, you must draw up a storage plan (opslagplan, in Dutch). This plan describes the technical aspects of the storage, such as risk of land subsidence. The Ministry of Economic Affairs (EZK) must approve your plan. Read more in English about these plans.


You may request an exemption from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy for certain bans or regulations under the Mining Act.

Applying digitally through the Message Box

With Message Box you can submit a digital application for the Mining Act licences and exemptions to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.

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