Brussels, EU – Tomorrow, the Commission will present its updated industrial strategy. The Commission has signalled that it wants to move to a more value chain-oriented approach and identify the critical capacities to secure the EU’s industrial base. The COVID-19 crisis has made it obvious that the EU must rely on its own strategic sources. Raw materials are the start of all value chains and therefore access to resources is a vital strategic question.
The EU faces global competition for raw materials. Fossil fuels are being replaced, and non-energy raw materials are building a new society for 2050 and will make the Green Deal a success. The Commission recognises that the EU raw materials sector has been left in a vulnerable position due to lack of investment. Proposed solutions are the Recovery Fund, Horizon Europe 2021-2027, raw materials-related research and innovation actions with a budget of 300 million EUR and the development of more public awareness, acceptance and trust towards a sustainable EU mining industry.
Euromines welcomes the New EU Industry Strategy and our members are ready to provide the needed mineral resources for the Green Deal and EU economy. One key element of implementing Europe’s Green Deal successfully must be increasing the resilience of value chains and returning value chains to Europe by setting the right framework conditions.
Mark Rachovides, President of Euromines, said: “Industry is the backbone of a sustainable EU economy. A balanced approach to climate, energy and raw materials policies is required to boost European technological excellence along our value chains and to support innovation and investment by new and traditional industries.”
To meet the growing global demand from a growing population, Europe must take its responsibility in securing raw material supply for its industry. The European mining sector can secure availability of vital raw materials needed for existing and future products and technologies. It enables change to a climate neutral, service and welfare orientated, circular and resource efficient as well a more connected society. Mineral raw materials are essential to Europe’s survival as one of the world’s leading economies.
Rolf Kuby, Director of Euromines said: “Minerals and metals are indispensable enablers for carbon-neutral solutions in all sectors of the economy. Given the scale of fast-growing material demand, primary raw materials will continue to provide a large part of the supply alongside increasing recycling activities.”
Although the EU Raw Materials Initiative has been in place since 2008, the EU’s import dependence on mineral raw materials has not decreased, quite the opposite. The EU is almost entirely dependent on imports of many identified critical raw materials, but is also, to a very high extent, dependent on imports of several other raw materials, for example basic metals such as iron ore (74 percent), copper (82 percent) and zinc (61 percent) , and numerous industrial minerals such as boron (100 percent) . To reach the aims of a green future for Europe, we will need access for our industry to even many more minerals. Increasing recycling of many products will need more magnesite, increasing demand for farm products (for feeding but also for green energy) will require potash, lightweight cars for e-mobility will need talc. Therefore, primary raw materials mined in the EU are and will be necessary to secure EU’s resilience and supply for strategic value chains also in the future.
Veronika Sochorová, Euromines, firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail), +32 473 646 072