Zuckerman Archive: Commission on Mining and the Environment

Scope and Content

Correspondence with the company AMAX [American Metal Climax] in Series SZ/GEN is complementary to the content of this series and especially to files SZ/CME/2 and SZ/CME/3. The background papers in File SZ/CME/4 are voluminous, as are the drafts of the final Report in File SZ/CME/6.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1971 a group of mining companies commissioned an independent inquiry in the light of current government measures to stimulate the fuller use of national mineral resources in Britain, the general concern for conservation and the environment and the need to establish the way in which these two objectives can be harmonised, to examine the relevant problems of exploration, mining, continuous rehabilitation and subsequent reconstruction of sites and to make recommendations designed to reconcile economic and technical considerations with other requirements of national policy, especially those concerning physical planning and the environment in terms of amenity, recreation and scientific and historical interest.

The Commission, which it should be stressed was not an official body, was set up against a background of indications that mining companies wished to be able to carry out exploratory drilling in the national parks, and in particular in Snowdonia. The Commission was chaired by Solly Zuckerman and the other members were: Viscount Arbuthnot, of the Scottish Landowners Federation; Professor C. Kidson, Head of the Department of Geography, University College of Wales; Max Nicholson, of Land Use Consultants Ltd; Professor Sir Frederick Warner, Visiting Professor in Environmental Studies, UCL and senior partner in Cremer & Warner; and Sir Jack Longland, of the Countryside Commission. Land Use Consultants provided the secretariat.

The Commission made 26 recommendations in its Report, published in September 1972, including the making of a distinction between scout drilling and other exploratory activities, and the amending of planning regulations in respect of the former. The recommendations did not specifically identify the national parks as needing separate treatment, for which the Commission came in for some criticism in the press. An unpublished Interim Report was produced for the internal consumption of the Commission.


  • SZ/CME/1 Minutes, 1971-72
  • SZ/CME/2 Correspondence, 1971-74
  • SZ/CME/3 SZ's visit to U.S. February 1972, 1972
  • SZ/CME/4 Documents and background Papers, 1959-1972 [in 12 sub-files]
  • SZ/CME/5 Interim report, 1972
  • SZ/CME/6 Final report, 1972 [in 12 sub-files]
  • SZ/CME/7 Press-cuttings, 1971-72, 1976

Access Information

Please refer to the fonds-level description for GB 1187 SZ.



Conditions Governing Use

Please refer to the fonds-level description for GB 1187 SZ.