Thu, 2012-12-06 13:09

A Swedish and Polish Contribution to the Raw Materials Initiative

The conference on Swedish and Polish Contribution to the EU Raw Materials Initiative was held in Brussels on 27 November 2012. It was organized by KGHM Polska Miedź, LKAB, ZGH Bolesław and Boliden with the support of Euromines. It was held under the auspices of Permanent Representation of Sweden & Republic of Poland to the EU. More than 50 participants attended.

The event was opened by the two Ambassadors of Poland and Sweden to the EU, who highlighted the importance of the mining industry in their country as well as the need of cooperation between them. The representatives of the Polish and Swedish ministries presented the country´s approach to the minerals strategy and Mrs. Malinowska and Mr.Gouarderes from European Commission presented the developments with regard to the implementation of the Raw Materials Initiative.

Demand for metals is increasing as more and more of the population of emerging nations worldwide move to cities, increasing the need for new housing and investments in infrastructure.

In the growing global metal market Sweden and Poland, with the countries’ natural resources and experienced extracting industries, can make important contribution to safeguard Europe as a lead player according to the intentions of the Raw Material Initiative. 

Today, metal companies in the two countries together with Finland contribute strongly to European growth and increased raw material supply. In the years 2007 and 2011 alone more than 7 billion Euros were invested in various expansion projects. Furthermore, over the last 7 years, the Polish and Swedish metal industries have cooperated intensively when it came to Innovation programs, with the overall goal of creating a greener, leaner and safer metals industry for the future.

Innovation – a prerequisite for success

An estimate made by the Swedish Mining Association states that by 2025 Sweden’s mine production could be three times larger than today and create more than 50 000 new job opportunities. Polish mining companies attempt to secure supply of metals by acquisitions of mining projects and operations on other continents such as North and South America, and by advancing exploration projects in Poland and Germany.

In order to succeed with the growth visions of the metals Industry in Sweden and Poland and at the same time secure the European Raw Material supply, Innovation has been identified as one area three critical areas in the Raw Materials Initiative to focus on.

Already today the industry's investment in education and research has put Europe in a leading position globally in several of the most important research areas in this field. But in order to keep our competitive edge, investments must continue in innovation, also through joint research programs in Europe.

Together with about 75 per cent of European mining companies and leading mining universities, a common vision about a greener, leaner and safer metals industry has been developed. Thanks to this cooperation an Innovation strategy on “Sustainable Mining and Innovation for the Future(SMIFU)” has been published. The strategy will lead towards achievement of this vision over the next 10-20 years. Polish and Swedish partners believe that Innovation cooperation will change the way in which the society is supplied with necessary minerals in the future.

For more information please visit the conference web page or contact Kasia Palaczanis, Euromines

Press Release