The Church of England's mining plans

The Church of England is moving to assert its ownership of more than 500,000 acres of mineral rights before a registration deadline imposed by the 2002 UK Land Registration Act.

If not registered by mid-October, the Church and other large landowners risk losing mineral rights in sales of surface land.

The Church Commissioners, the group responsible for managing the Church's assets, have already expressed interest in zinc drilling in the North Pennines, and expectations that they will make a big move into fracking have opponents of the practice concerned, writes Chris Tighe for the Financial Times.

The deadline was designed, in part, to simplify and modify a complex and archaic land rights system, one that's considered a significant barrier to business for exploration companies both domestic and foreign.