Five companies, which possess integral property complexes for amber mining and processing, have attempted to illegally obtain special amber extraction permits, the press service of the State Service of Geology and Mineral Resources of Ukraine (Derzhgeonadra) reported.
”Five companies (Georeserching, Rivnerudoprom, Amberg Mining Company, Zirka Rivne and Investnerudoprom) requested Derzhgeonadra to grant special permits for subsoil use bypassing a licensing procedure, without holding an auction,” the press service reported.
It added that the mentioned companies have integral property complexes at their disposal, used for exploration and development of amber deposits.
Derzhgeonadra said it considers it illegal to obtain special permits without competition, referring to the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers, according to which the possession of property complexes for the extraction and processing of minerals does not constitute sufficient grounds for granting special permits without competition.
The press service also reported that the companies had failed to clear all necessary approval procedures at the State Service on Labour and Rivne Regional Council.
”Unscrupulous businessmen want, through a dubious way and without any approvals, to use mineral resources that belong to the state,” a statement noted.
The mentioned companies are said to have filed a lawsuit against Derzhgeonadra in connection with its decision.
As reported by UNIAN earlier, in April 2015, the Verkhovna Rada adopted, in the first reading the draft law ”On amber extraction and sale”, which was developed to help curb illegal amber mining in the country.
In mid-July, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources reported that it had recalled all permits for amber mining that were issued in 2015.
Further, the ministry stated that it had suspended issuing licenses until a transparent mechanism was developed to regulate the mining and sale of amber.
In February 2016, the Ecology Ministry called for tightening liabilities for illegal amber mining.
The ministry believes that not only state companies, but also private entities, can be engaged in amber extraction if they possess high-quality equipment and technology that minimizes damage to nature, as a result of such activity.
At the same time, companies seeking to obtain mining permits should also ensure the restoration of the land after its use.
UNIAN memo. Ukraine ranks second in the world in amber reserves. Further, Ukrainian deposits have the highest percentage of gem-quality amber in the world.