A Brief History of the Hungarian Mining Authority



One of the oldest and best-known place of mining in Europe can be found at the border of Lovas village; an excavated mine of red ground, which dates back to 80000-40000 B.C.


In the late Neolithic Period (5-6 thousand years ago) peat was mined at the region of the small towns of Tata and Sümeg.


In the Carpathian Basin (in the Highlands, Transylvania and Mátra mountains) – long before the Hungarian land-taking, - industrial mining of salt and gold was done by the Romans.


The land-taking “Magyars” brought the knowledge and procedure of iron metallurgy to their new home.


In the history of Hungarian industry mining was the first territory where state control appeared. 


As early as the 13th century, mining was stipulated by Hungarian legislation.


In 1245, after the Tartar invasion, King Bela IV confirmed the privileges and laid down the rules of mines’ exploitation.


Mining Chief, an officer was appointed as a leader and controller of working. Also he was the organizer of trial cases of mining.


In the 16th century mining was based on hired work mostly. Excavation extended deeper and deeper. With all these, exploitation of mines developed into an industrial work in the bigger factories.


During his reign, Miksa II made an effort towards centralization, issuing the Mining Rules and Regulation, which controlled prospecting and exploitation in detail. (1573-1854??)


Mining Regulation and mining management was fulfilled by the Chamber of Lower Austria while providing Mining Directories (predecessors of the later District Inspectorates of Mines) in the country.


On 23rd May 1854, Austrian Universal Mining Act was passed also in Hungary; which remained formally valid until 1st July 1961.


Between 1946 and 1960 Hungarian economic management became centralised. As a result of this, Hungarian Constitution (1949) declared that minerals: “the treasure of the Earth’s womb” and all the mines of the country would belong to the state.


The duty of integrated management of mining was taken by the Ministry of Industry in 1945, afterwards the Ministry of the Heavy Industry, then the Ministry of Mining and Energy was responsible for mining management.


In 1949 District Inspectorates of Mines were ceased, Mining Security Branches replaced them.


The National Supreme Authority of Mining Technology – under the direct control of the Council of Ministers, - was established in 1955.


As first grade organs of mining management, Mining Districts of Supervision were established in the headquarters of District Inspectorates of Mines and Mining Security Branches.


On 1st December 1960 Hungarian Parliament passed the first Hungarian Mining Act: the 3rd law of 1960, about mining.


In the 1980’s alteration at Hungarian society and economy took some legal modification into consideration on the fields of mining as well.


The 48th Act of 1993; the new Mining Act aimed to protect the lives and health of the employees of mining; to convert the mining administration into a universal and modernized institutional system, according to the altered duties of the state, and most of all, regarding the fact that mining as a whole is a dangerous activity that demands particular expertise technically as well as professionally. Also it needs strict regulations and regular supervision.


The Hungarian Mining Authority is an organ of the state administration with national sphere of authority, with independent tasks and competence. It operates under the control of the Hungarian Government, supervised by the Minister of Economy and Transport. The Hungarian Mining Authority is a legal entity, operating as a central budgetary organ that manages its budget independently.