Mining,ore prospecting and gold panning

Tukes acts as the mining authority referred to in the Finnish Mining Act and is responsible for monitoring compliance with the act and attending to duties prescribed in the act.


  • makes decisions on mining, mining safety, ore prospecting and gold panning permits and approves reservation notifications.
  • maintains the Mining Register and administers the Mining Register Map Service, which contains all privileges, i.e. reservations, applications and decisions issued under the Mining Act. Click on an area of the map to view the right holder. Priority for an exploration, mining or gold panning permit is given to however first applies for the permit in accordance with Section 34 of the Mining Act.

Permits governed by the Mining Act are mostly dealt with by Tukes’s Rovaniemi and Helsinki offices, see contact details for personnel.
Tukes ensures that mining operations and the use of areas required for mining as well as ore prospecting are organised in a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable manner.

Tukes promotes mining safety and prevents, mitigates and combats the adverse effects of mining and damage resulting from mining operations as well as ensures the liability of any party that causes adverse effects or damage.

All mines that are to be opened in Finland require a mining permit from Tukes. Mines also need a mining safety permit and a permit for handling and storing chemicals and explosives from Tukes. All mines need an environmental permit from the environmental authorities.  A zoning plan drawn up by the local authority is often a condition for opening a mine.

The Mining Act is designed to guarantee the rights of local authorities and individuals to influence decisions concerning themselves and their living environment. The permit procedure ensures that public and private interests are protected. The permit procedure factors in the following:

  • Conditions for operating a mine
  • Legal rights of property owners and private individuals who may be adversely affected
  • Effects on the environment and land use
  • Sustainable use of natural resources

In the Sámi Homeland, mining is coordinated so that the rights of the Sámi as an indigenous people are guaranteed. The rights of the Skolt population are also taken into account.  

Life-cycle of mines

It usually takes at least 15 years for a mining operation to progress from the beginning of ore prospecting to the beginning of mine planning, i.e. the start of the environmental impact assessment procedure.  In most cases, even several years of exploration results in nothing, meaning that the bedrock shows no signs of the kind of a mineral deposit that could have economic value through mining.