Euromines, the European Association of Mining Industries, Metal Ores & Industrial Minerals, emphasised the importance of responsible and sustainable mining, as thecornerstone of achieving Europe’s strategic autonomy in critical raw materials and fostering a competitive transformation aligned with the Green Deal.
The Importance of Mining in the Green Deal
Euromines presented three critical points during the event: firstly, the importance of the mining industry in the Green Deal’s industrial transition. As the demand for metals and minerals for green technologies increases, secure access and supply become essential, necessitating more mining activities within the EU.
Responsible Mining Practices and Sustainability
Secondly, Euromines called for an honest debate about responsible mining practices, emphasising the need to distinguish between responsible mining in the EU and practices in third countries with weaker environmental standards. To achieve the EU’s green transition, it is vital to recognize and elevate the sustainability performance of EU mining.
Policy Coherence and Competitive Transformation in Mining
Thirdly, Euromines urged to support the mining sector in reducing its environmental footprint. While the industry invests heavily in sustainability measures, it requires regulatory recognition and enabling conditions to do more and better. Regulatory coherence and a clear interlinkage between the Net Zero Industry Act, Critical Raw Materials Act, decarbonization, and environmental legislation are crucial for the predictability and viability of mining projects.
Challenges Faced by the EU Mining Industry
To ensure the success of the Green Deal, Euromines called for a responsible raw materials policy framework that balances the EU raw materials security of supply, global net-positive impact and environmental protection. The emphasis should be given to resolve conflicting objectives and provide incentives for responsible mining practices.
Importantly, all speakers agreed with the need to address European approach to permitting the industrial projects. While the environmental protection remains the guiding principle for any consideration, there is a lot to improve the system including on digitalisation, providing one-stop-shop, and certainly on timing.
Euromines remains committed to fostering responsible and sustainable mining practices and looks forward to continued collaboration with policymakers and stakeholders in shaping Europe’s green transformation.