The Mining Act (621/2011) lays down provisions on the rights and obligations of those carrying out exploration, mining activity and gold panning during the commencement and duration of the activity and on the termination and rehabilitation measures of such operations.

The new Mining Act is modern and corresponds better to the principles of sustainable use and development. The Mining Act takes into consideration the need to secure the prerequisites for ore prospecting and mining activity as well as environmental perspectives, citizens’ basic rights, landowners’ rights and municipalities’ opportunities to influence issues. Under the Act, exploration can take place as prospecting work that in part resembles the Finnish everyman's rights. An exploration permit is, however, needed if the exploration cannot take place as prospecting work or the landowner has not given permission to it.

An exploration permit is also required if the activity could cause harm to people’s health, public safety or other industrial or commercial activity or deterioration of landscape or nature conservation values.

An exploration permit is always required for the exploration of uranium and thorium.