The Euromines Annual Report 2019 is now available! This year, we present what Euromines is doing to secure supply chains in a rapidly changing world. The European mineral raw materials sector supports a wide variety of industries through the supply of raw materials, and in this role as well as within the mining sector itself, we must prioritise both sustainable efforts and competitiveness.

As Euromines President Mark Rachovides states in the Foreword:

“Today’s decision makers’ contexts, terms of reference, priorities and language have changed. They want and fear different things that reflect a new consensus, whether we like that or not, and that is an opportunity, not a threat.”

As always, we are certain in the ability of Euromines and our members to rise to the occasion and find solutions to today’s challenges.

Euromines has made significant contributions to the science of Life Cycle Assessment, on which the Environmental Footprint methods are based (click here for a full list of peer-reviewed publications). Since 2013, Euromines has been actively engaged in the European Commission’s Environmental Footprint (EF) and has helped develop, during the EF Pilot Phase, the ‘Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) for Metal Sheets in Various Applications’. Through our involvement in the EF Pilot Phase, the PEF Guidelines have been improved, but not all the defined shortcomings have been resolved to ensure that the methodology is sufficiently robust for use in EU policy, and does not lead to inappropriate results. In particular, the need to develop a better method of assessing the impacts of Resource Use in the years to come has been formally expressed and the European Commission has committed to invest jointly with the industry in the development of an alternative approach to better quantify the potential for conservation of resources.

Read the full version of the Euromines feedback to Legislative proposal on substantiating green claims using PEF.

Euromines supports the preparation of EU nature restoration targets in 2021. The different policies like the Biodiversity Strategy 2030 and the Zero Pollution Action Plan, but also other related policies like the Industrial Strategy and the list of Critical Raw Materials, must be coherent. A proactive dialog between our sector and EU decision makers is key to let our sector interact as source for EU businesses within the unique EU framework of nature protection. The European mineral raw materials industry can contribute with its best practices of biodiversity conservation.

Due to its long mining history, Europe has developed unique competence in rehabilitation and eco-system management and the European mining sector actively supports the conservation of biodiversity.

The more ambitious climate targets, the more metals and minerals needed for a clean energy transition. European mining companies and mining technology companies are essential for European value chains and thus crucial for overcoming post-pandemic global economic crisis. Read more on sustainable mining best practice cases in the attached publication.

Overview of the European mining sector contribution to the 7 EU Priorities:

  • Ensure a full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Build the Union of tomorrow
  • Global leadership in fighting climate change
  • Shape our own digital solutions and establish Europe’s digital sovereignty
  • Make our economy more resilient and robust
  • Defend our common values and strengthen our democratic model 
  • Strengthen the EU's role as a global actor

On 5 April 2022, the European Commission proposed the inclusion of the (non-energy) mining sector into the scope of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) as part of the IED Review. 

The European mining sector is already covered by an ambitious and established permitting system ensuring transparent procedures and stakeholder participation. The mining sector is subject to a dense set of European and national environmental and mining legislation ensuring the highest environmental, climate and safety standards. On the other hand, the IED-system is not suitable for the mining sector and its inclusion would have no environmental benefits. The IED-system of Best Available Techniques will not be functional for the variety of mine types, mine operations and specific mining installations.  It will only hamper and prolong procedures for obtaining mining permits.

Euromines asks the European Parliament and the Council to amend the Commission’s proposal and to exclude the mining sector from the scope of the IED (deletion of Annex I, No. 3.6.). 

It is obvious that two years of COVID-19 and the Russian war against Ukraine have widely disturbed industrial supply chains and set the security of raw materials supply at risk. Against this background, it is not the time to launch a new additional legislative burden for the industry. Under a wider perspective, Euromines would therefore support postponing the further discussion on the IED revision, also because it could hamper the competitiveness of the industry.

Read the Euromines Position - on the Revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive

During the last years, the European mining industry has undertaken substantial efforts to comply with the new occupational exposure limits for Nitrogen Oxides, Carbon Monoxide, and Diesel particle emissions. Comprehensive measures for reducing emissions and the level of exposure have been identified, examined, and put into place. However, the transitional processes take longer than expected, largely due to technological limitations and availabilities. The European mining sector will not be able to meet the new OELs within the planned timeline despite the progress already made and the measures that have been introduced in underground mining practice. Therefore, Euromines asks the European Commission for a further extension of the 3-year transition period for Nitrogen Monoxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, and Carbon Monoxide.

Euromines members present their statement on OELs for Nitrogen Oxides, Carbon Monoxide, and Diesel Engine Exhaust emissions, which will be the basis for further approaches to policymakers and other stakeholders. This statement consists of the current description of the compliance status, the measures implemented so far, and the need for an additional 3-year transition period for compliance.

Read the statement here.

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