Wed, 2013-09-25 19:35

Strategic Implementation Plan for the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials launched

Euromines welcomes the adoption of the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) for the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials first launched by the European Commission on 12th February 2013. The SIP addresses all actions deemed necessary to achieve the objectives and targets of the European Innovation Partnership, including research and development along the value chain, raw materials knowledge, exchange of best practices, revision of selected legislation, licensing steps, standardisation, and policy dialogues. In particular the extractive sector welcomes the acknowledgement of the importance of raw materials for the growth and competitiveness of the European economy and society.

The commitment of EU Member States to contribute to the European Innovation Partnership is welcomed wholeheartedly by the extractive sector. It is important that Member States recognized that National Minerals Policies in different countries are not always clear and effective enough and that permitting procedures for mining can be lengthy and sometimes lack transparency. Euromines members are therefore ready and willing to be involved in  legislative processes aimed at simplifying and streamlining sustainable access to domestic raw materials> In particular effort is needed to reduce permitting times and increase the legislative reliability of investments in the extractive sector.

Access to land is another key challenge for the extractive industry, where competing land uses may sterilise deposits for future use. Euromines highlights the fact that Europe has its own natural resources with bothworld-class deposits and major unexplored potential. Today mines occupy less than 1% of Europe's land surface on a temporary basis. Until today Europe has not invested sufficiently in mineral exploration which is a key factor for both developing and maintaining a healthy industry. On the occasion of launch of the SIP Mr. Mark Rachovides, President of Euromines said "sustainable exploitation of a large number of valuable raw materials deposits in Europe can increase Europe's supply of mineral resources, help to ease imports from third countries usually applying lower environmental, corporate and social standards, foster the socio-economic growth of Europe's Regions as well as provide raw materials that are crucial for the competitiveness of several industry sectors and the development of green technologies."

The extractive sector has been very supportive of the work conducted so far and welcomes the long term aim of the European Commission to tap the full potential of primary and secondary materials and to boost the innovation capacity of the EU raw materials sector. It will thus become a strong sustainable pillar of the EU economy with increasing benefits for society. Increase in population and in living standards will continue to drive the growing demand for raw materials. Resource efficiency measures such as optimisation of reuse and recycling as well as extending product lifespans will still not close the material supply deficit until circa 2050.

In a medium term by 2020 the European Innovation Partnership proposes through its SIP a number of concrete Research and Innovation actions targeting the beginning of the raw materials value chain and integrating with downstream industries in order to start the process of transformation of the EU raw materials sector. Euromines members are ready to contribute to the European Industrial Renaissance that is crucially important for the European future.

The Partnership will bring advantages in longer term. The idea is to develop (a) new exemplary cost-effective, environmentally sound and safe technological solutions for securing supply of raw materials, and (b) knowledge and skills in the EU to attract investment by industry bringing new jobs and growth to the EU economy.

The EIP on Raw Materials will promote both technological and non-technological innovation along the entire value chain of raw materials (i.e. exploration, extraction, processing, refining, re-use, recycling, substitution) involving stakeholders for relevant upstream and downstream sectors.

 "The European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials is an important attempt to build on Europe's strengths. Our companies lead the world in modern mining and technology and deploy those strengths worldwide. New EU policy initiatives deserve our participation and support. We must be part of shaping their outcomes. Innovation, research and resource efficiency are themes at the core of what we do. We are long-term investors, creating jobs and skills and paying taxes, often in the regions of Europe that need them most" explained Euromines President Mr. Mark Rachovides. "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" added Mr. Rachovides.

The European extractive sector will continue to support the European Innovation Partnership and welcomes Member States' active involvement in tackling the challenges before us.

For more information please contact: Veronika Sochorova (Communication Manager Euromines), or visit:

Press Release