National minerals policies that ensure security of supply of important raw materials and ensure the sustainability of the extractive operations as well as their products are crucial to economic policies.

Therefore it is important that each country has such a policy and ensures that it includes considerations and objectives of other relevant policies, such industrial and trade, environment energy and climate change policies, health and safety and consumer protection policies, as well as regional development and employment policies.  However, it is also important that raw material policies are not jeopardised by uncoordinated policy making in the afore-mentioned areas. 

And whilst it is important to update and modernise  raw materials policies and adapt them to developments of the country it should be noted that raw material investments are long-term investments and therefore are sensitive to frequent, quick and unpredicted  changes.

The four most important elements:

I.    State strength
A state which is legitimate and capable at all levels (national, regional, and local). 
A government whose policy decisions are credible and broadly accepted and an administrative apparatus that can implement these.

II.    Limits to state strength 
Institutional checks and balances that support the legitimacy of government and the administrative apparatus, and guard against abuse of state power at all levels (national, regional, local).

III.    Compatibility of formal and informal rights, institutions and rules
Legitimacy of formal economic institutions guarding essential necessities of a stable economy (exchange rate, fiscal sustainability).

IV.    Technical capacity of the public sector and decision makers at all levels

Sustainable community development programs are those that contribute to the community’s longterm development needs and priorities and ensure a fairer distribution of the costs, benefits, risks and responsibilities associated with mining activities. 

Investment is a leading source of economic growth, job creation, infrastructure, competition, international trade and innovation. Countries with a high level of investment systematically achieve higher levels of development in more sustainable ways. A central question among policy makers is therefore how to enhance investment? Bearing in mind that investment is triggered and influenced  by multitude of factors, and that international investment agreements (IIAs) are not a substitute for long-term and comprehensive improvements towards a transparent, rules-based pro-business policy environment, they do play a fundamental role by providing an additional layer of security to foreign investors and can thus be an important factor for host countries to attracting incentivize more foreign direct investments (FDI), both in quantity and quality. 

One of the most visible economic impacts of mining/quarrying operations on a community is the employment that it generates. 
Employment is generated through the creation of jobs within the mining/quarrying operation itself, for instance during the exploration, mining/quarrying and closure/rehabilitation phases. These jobs are directly related to the mining/quarrying operation. However, there are jobs created outside of the ‘gates’ of a mining/quarrying operation. These are a result of the building of roadways to reach the mine/quarry, the construction of new homes for mines/quarries and their families, and the businesses required to service the families for instance.
The objective is to calculate the total employment generated by the operation

The guidance is intended to promote the continued development of sound scientific approaches for the classification of O&Cs and will assist the industry in achieving a harmonised approach to classification and labelling.

The purpose of the European Commission Guidance on Non-energy mineral extraction and Natura 2000 is to address issues for which the European Commission is responsible. However, the extractive industry has its own guidelines on how to prevent the loss of biodiversity in all areas of operation, some of which go beyond, but do not specifically address, particular requirements of the EU Nature Directives.

This “Guide to the Guide” constitutes part of a Biodiversity Toolkit promoted by Euromines, which is otherwise made up of previously existing documents. It is intended to assist companies in their interpretation of the European Commission Guidance and discussion with permitting authorities and should be read in conjunction with the European Commission Guidance. The Toolkit addresses a broader range of issues concerning extractive industry impacts on biodiversity as follows:

Issue to be addressed Industry Tool
environmental impact assessment
compliance
European Commission Guidance
This “Guide to the Guide”
conservation beyond legal requirements
stakeholder consultation
ICMM Good Practice Guidance
monitoring and assurance
codes of conduct

Good Practices for the Collection of Biodiversity Baseline Data

E.g., Guideline to Promotion of Biodiversity at the Mineral Extraction Sites of HeidelbergCement
GRI Mining and Metals Sector Supplement
ICMM Sustainable Development Framework

Small and Medium Enterprise practices Swedish Association of Mines, Mineral and Metal Producers’ Guidelines for Exploration Work

Since 2003 Euromines’ Guidelines on Sustainable Development for the European Extractive Sector have included the commitment to “Promote the conservation of biodiversity and integrated approaches to land use planning”¹ . Euromines is also an associate member of the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM) and has contributed directly to the development of the ICMM Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity (2006). In 2009, Euromines also produced a book of 101 examples of beneficial mine closure in partnership with the Post-Mining Alliance².

In return, Euromines is actively seeking greater clarity, transparency, consistency and rigour in the processes by which areas of land are managed as part of the Natura 2000 network. The Europe 2020 Strategy, the EU Raw Materials Initiative³ (RMI) and the European Commission Guidance should be used to underline the need to promote increased investment in the EU’s existing natural assets.

In many Member States the process of designating Natura 2000 sites took place in a hurried way, in the absence of any consideration of other land-uses and with more focus on quantity than quality. Therefore, factual demonstration of the biodiversity value of Natura 2000 sites will often be missing and this causes problems related to land-access, mineral planning and environmental assessment in the extractive sector.

Unfortunately, European Commission guidance documents do not necessarily create the legal certainty that extractive companies need to justify expensive exploration projects, baseline studies and impact assessments. It may therefore prove necessary at a later date to integrate elements of the European Commission Guidance into national or provincial legislation.

¹ Access the Sustainable Development Guidelines

² https://www.edenproject.com/shop/101-Things-To-Do-With-A-Hole-In-The-Ground-8229.aspx

³ http://www.euromines.org/what-we-do/raw-materials-initiative

Euromines publication "Natura 2000: A Guide to the Guide" is now available in Spanish!

The purpose of the European Commission Guidance on Non-energy mineral extraction and Natura 2000 is to address issues for which the European Commission is responsible. However, the extractive industry has its own guidelines on how to prevent the loss of biodiversity in all areas of operation, some of which go beyond, but do not specifically address, particular requirements of the EU Nature Directives.

This “Guide to the Guide” constitutes part of a Biodiversity Toolkit promoted by Euromines, which is otherwise made up of previously existing documents. It is intended to assist companies in their interpretation of the European Commission Guidance and discussion with permitting authorities and should be read in conjunction with the European Commission Guidance.

Click here for more information about the English issue of "Natura 2000: A Guide to the Guide".

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