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

Euromines welcomes that the European Commission embarks on one of the most contentious issues there is when it comes to merging decarbonization with industrial competitiveness. We appreciate the proactive engagement of the Commission but and we take into account the short-term nature of the measures to bridge the current crisis, but we deeply deplore that the proposal as it stands will not help the energy-intensive industry, that the issue of gas prices and the nexus to electricity prices is not considered – and even worse: the risk that the resilience Europe needs gets undermined. The reason for this: is the uncertainty of whether our industry will benefit from redistribution measures while still being exposed to the spot price.

The short-term proposal falls far too short to address the deficiencies of the market design and puts our industry in survival mode as the proposed measures are barely enough to survive. In absence of a re-design that drives prices down, ensure protection for energy-intensive industries such as mining that are key for the Green Deal and for which decarbonization means either direct or indirect electrification our industry requires from the proposed short-term measures to be effective.

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.