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Mineral Extraction Licences

 All aggregate extraction undertaken by CEMEX UK Marine takes place on licensed areas, predominantly in UK waters.

The mineral rights to the sea-bed around the UK are owned by the Crown Estate, which issues licences for extraction. A royalty is paid to the Crown Estate for every tonne dredged and the bulk of revenue is passed to the Exchequer. The Crown Estate will only issue a licence if permission is granted by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Welsh Assembly Government or the Scottish Parliament.

Marine aggregate prospecting rights are awarded by the Crown Estate following competitive tender. If a viable deposit is located, then an application to dredge is submitted to the relevant authority accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). A government decision is reached after consultation with local authorities, fishing organisations, government advisers and other bodies.

If an application is considered environmentally acceptable then a permission and licence are granted. Licences will include any mitigation and monitoring measures required by the regulatory authorities. Conditions are commonly attached including regular environmental monitoring and zoning to restrict the area dredged at any one time.

To ensure compliance, all vessels working in England and Wales must be equipped with a Crown Estate Electronic Monitoring System. This records the position and dredging status of the vessel every 30 seconds whilst the dredge pump is running and this data is analysed by the Crown Estate every month. Positioning of the vessel is achieved by a highly accurate satellite navigation system known as DGPS.

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