The European Federation of Geologists (EFG) Expert Panel on Minerals issued a position paper on the importance of best practices in mineral exploration a key sector to the achievement of the European Green Deal.

The European Union’s taxonomy scheme is developing a listing of environmentally sustainable economic activities with a view to boosting sustainable investment practices. Authoritative studies by the European Commission, the World Bank, and more recently by the International Energy Agency all predict that if Europe is to achieve the vision laid out in the Green Deal there will need to be a significant increase in the supply of raw materials. The studies further recognise that today’s supply and investment plans fall well short of what is needed.

It is considered that mineral exploration – while conducted according to international best practices – can play a significant role in the future sustainability of the continent when measured against the four criteria specified in the Taxonomy Regulation:

1. To reach the goals of the Paris Agreement requires a quadrupling of mineral raw material requirements for clean energy technologies by 2040. At a global level it will be essential that priority be given to the exploration for, and development of, resources close to their point of incorporation into products and to the market for those products.
2. Responsibly conducted mineral exploration of the resource potential within prospective European terranes has a direct impact on climate adaptation by reducing dependence on trans- global supply chains, as well as ensuring production within well-regulated jurisdictions.
3. Recycling may relieve some of the pressure on primary supply. Nevertheless, given increasing demand for mineral raw materials recycling will not eliminate the need for continued investment in the discovery, delineation and development of new resources.
4. Discovery of resources and development of new mining operations within a well-regulated resource jurisdiction – such as Europe – will, by example, have a global impact on promulgating best practice and the adoption of best available technologies.
5. No jurisdiction can opt out of its responsibility to contribute to these supply requirements.

To read the full position paper: https://bit.ly/2TaWRm8

Published by

Luís Chambel

Exploration & Research Mining Engineer, MSc Engineering Geology, MBA, PhD European Engineer -EUR ING; Euro Geologist - EURO GEOL