Europe has a proud history of mining. But history is not static, it is what we make and what we live, today and tomorrow.

Without geology there can be no mines, without funding there can be no mines and without permits there can be no mines. Europe has a viable long-term resource base situated within one of the world’s largest and most mature economies. Worldwide the demand for both resources and products is increasing dramatically. The EU provides a robust enabling environment for the achievement of the highest sustainable standards in mining in a relatively small geographic space that is increasingly urbanized.

“Compete or die” has therefore been the reality of mining in the EU. Today our mines are among the most efficient in the world. EU companies are at the forefront of innovation in raw-materials supply, they are world-renowned in the development and manufacture of mining and mineral processing equipment and compete in a global market through outstanding performance and productivity performance. Our industry meets or exceeds the EU’s strict environmental & safety standards every day.

Exploration in Europe is only today starting to reap the benefit of increased investment and improved technology deployed in recent years. Europe is not “mined out”. Instead, the mining industry consistently adds more to proven reserves than it takes away. We are also discovering new deposits throughout the continent at an increasing rate. By 2020 there will be a complete modern database and economic assessment of all EU primary and secondary resources. There will be a revised regulatory framework facilitating sustainable management of resources and uptake of innovation and EU Leadership in technology for all aspects of resource management and diversification.

By maitaining our best practices we can achieve 100% responsible and balanced sourcing of minerals in the EU within this generation and therby ensure that we not only keep but grow whole value chains within the EU.

Europe should be the “international partner of choice” for the sustainable transformation of primary and secondary mineral resources. In other words, by leading by example, by best practice, we can shape the future of our industry in the EU ourselves.

Mark Rachovides
President, Euromines

Brussels, April 2014