The Scoping process in the extractive industry in Malta
: a case study for soft stone and hard stone quarries

  • Joseph Anthony Doublet

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science


The aim of the dissertation is to find out if the scoping process, to produce Environmental Impact Assessments, in the Maltese extractive industry, is carried out in an appropriate manner.

Scoping is a process whereby the significant impacts of a development are identified and are earmarked for a deeper study through the impact assessment report.

The quarrying industry still uses old technology and is unwilling to modernise, due to the financial burden involved.

The Environment Planning Act, 1991 was utilised by the recently established Planning Authority, to request quarry owners, who wanted to extend their zone, to produce an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) according to a set Terms of Reference.

The study utilised three methods to reach its aim:
1.a matrix analysis of the EIA reports in the quarry industry;
2.a questionnaire analysis aimed at specific targeted groups, to elicit their perceptions about the process and its management;
3.interviews with key personalities involved in the EIA process and in the industry, to evoke the problems encountered and the reasons behind their actions.

The study found that the approach adopted by the Planning Authority is giving unsatisfactory results. The whole EIA process and its basic requirements are unknown to the various groups of people studied. It has also shown the lack of availability of baseline studies, making it difficult to establish significant impacts. There is also a need for a deeper analysis of the management techniques and the technology utilised in the extractive industry.

The study recommends the restructuring of the:
1.quarry industry;
2.Environment Management Unit within the Planning Authority to include all aspects of impact assessment under its umbrella;
3.Environment Protection Department to act as a complementary part in the technical nature of the EIA process.

A series of educational courses aimed at the key participants of the process is also recommended
Date of Award1998
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorAlan James Bond (Supervisor)


  • mineral industries
  • Malta
  • environmental impact analysis

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