Pushing boundaries beyond - Circular by 2020?

On 9th March 2015, the International Conference on New Technologies and Policies for Mining and Mining Products “Pushing boundaries beyond - Circular by 2020?” was held at Trinity College Dublin. 

The conference focused on the role of new technologies and policy approaches for a future mining industry in Europe. With Ireland having been a major supplier of raw materials to the EU and its downstream industries in the past, particularly in lead and zinc, the country scored highly on the latest Fraser Institutes assessment of investable countries for exploration and mining investments in Europe. 

Hosted by the country’s leading university, the conference brought together high level representation from the Ministry of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, the European Commission, academia and geological surveys as well as European mineral suppliers and technology providers and sector organisations such as Euromines, European Technology Platform on Sustainable Mineral Resources and IBEC. 

Some 100 participants from all over Europe attended this conference which explored: 

  • The development of alternative energy sources and their future material demands including theso-called critical raw materials;
  • New technologies for the production and use of raw materials;
  • New approaches to address public awareness and social validation of the mining industry;
  • Strategies and technical and political requirements for achieving a more circular economy with increased reuse and recycling of materials currently in use;
  • Strategies and policies around providing raw materials for Europe’s innovation and reindustrialisation strategy;
  • The European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials and the funding programmes and topics available in the future.

Innovation is a powerful vehicle in meeting Europe’s challenges in raw materials. For example, new technologies help to reduce losses, safely extract minerals deeper underground, source the raw materials in more remote areas and under a wider range of conditions. This is also why a European Innovation Partnership on raw materials has been set up by the Commission towards increasing Europe’s own production. “Europe is rich in natural resources. Our future is one where technological advances lead our industry, where regulation compliments growth and is born from a hard-won consensus for a better future.” highlighted Euromines President Mr. Rachovides in his speech.

The articles in this Newsletter are written by some of the conference key speakers. We truly appreciate the time that they took out of their busy schedule to prepare these articles for this issue of the Newsletter.