Q: How much does a geological exploration cost?

A: Geological exploration is a complex work consisting of: field work (drilling for samples), laboratory work (laboratory investigation of the taken samples), and preparation of the report. The field work price is determined by the amount and depth of drillings. In the process of a detailed survey the drillings should be placed not further than 100 meters apart. In some cases, complex geological conditions (e.g., fractures) may require a denser network. Therefore, the quantity of the drillings is directly proportional to an investigated area. The depth of drillings depends on the thickness of the over-burden layer and the thickness of the useful layer, and each meter is priced. Our equipment allows to reach 24 meters’ depth. The price of the laboratory work depends on the number of samples and the analyses needed. Samples are taken each 3 meters and each time the geological layer changes. Therefore, the price of the geological exploration can be estimated when the area to be investigated is known, but the precise amount is known only after the drilling is done and the depth of the useful layer is known.

Q: How lengthy are the geological explorations?

A: The first step before starting the exploration is to receive a permit by the land owner and register the exploration in the Register of Natural Resources managed by the Lithuanian Geological Survey at the Ministry of Environment of Lithuania. The field work duration depends on the size of the territory, the depth of the resource, the geological conditions, and ease of access. The work is usually delayed by large boulders in the field, by trees and shrubs hindering access. The lab work duration naturally depends on the number of samples and the type of needed analyses. The report itself takes around a month to prepare. In total it may take 3-5 months.

Q: What steps should I perform if I need to open a quarry of natural resources?

A: First a detailed geological exploration (survey) is performed and the findings in the report (the quality and quantity of the resource) have to be approved by the Lithuanian Geological Survey. Then an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report has to be prepared and the impact of the planned economic activity on the environment and public health is analyzed. After the EIA report is approved by relevant authorities, a permit to use the deposit is granted. Finally, a Use-of-Natural-Resources plan (the so-called Special Plan) is prepared and approved. Then the economic activity may legally start.

Q: What is the cost of the Environment Impact Assessment report?

A: This is only possible to answer when the specific situation is known. Depending on various conditions a shorter version of the report may be sufficient for authorities, and in some cases an extended version (including an assessment of public health) is needed. Clearly the shorter version costs less. Depending on the territory and surrounding conditions it may even be necessary to perform various flora and fauna investigations (e.g. if the deposit is close to a protected area), assessment of a hydro-geological situation, and so on. Once the territory is known, it is possible to estimate the scope of the report.

Q: What’s the duration of the preparation of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report?

A: The short version of the EIA takes 1-2 months, and it is usually approved by authorities in 2-3 months. The full version takes 2 months, plus the approval procedure lasts 3-4 months. If a complaint is received from an interested party the approval procedure may get longer.

Q: What’s the price of the preparation of the Land-Use Report?

A: Usually several specialists are involved. First a Strategic Environment Impact Assessment may be needed to perform. Then follows the territory planning procedure. Finally, a design of the quarry together with its excavation and recovery plans. Again, the extent of necessary work depends on the type and size of the deposit, and the technology to be used.

Q: How long does the preparation of the Land-Use Report take?

A: A Strategic Environment Impact Assessment lasts 2-4 months, and the design stage – 3-4 months.