Raw Material Initiatives
The Raw Materials Initiative (RMI) aims at providing the framework conditions to establish an integrated strategy to face the challenges related to access to non-energy and non-agricultural raw materials and facilitate the sustainable supply of raw materials. Since 2008, the European Commission is working on improving access to raw materials based on a three-pillar based approach:
- International – Ensure a level playing field in access to resources in third countries;
- Domestic – Foster sustainable supply of raw materials from European sources;
- Recycling – Boost resource efficiency and promote recycling.
The RMI was the basis for developing the European Innovation Partnership for Raw Materials (EIP-RM since 2012) and the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP in 2013) that drove concrete actions for the raw material sector with funding made available under Horizon Europe. Since 2020 and Under Horizon Europe, the newly formed European Raw Material Alliance (ERMA) has been overseeing the activities of the EIP.
Why is it important?
The underlying objective of the different partnerships is to make Europe a world leader in the exploration, extraction, processing and recycling of raw materials. To facilitate the process, the European Commission has proposed several concrete targets, such as the EIP’s structure based on the principles set up in the Innovation Union to have the right balance between high-level commitment and functional coordination and distributed operational responsibilities. IMA-Europe strongly believes in these partnerships and continues to be involved with several innovation projects and raw material commitments.
IMA-Europe members have developed a Roadmap 2050 to promote sustainable practices of accessing, extracting, processing, and valorising the mineral deposits from Europe and Europe. In addition, IMA-Europe has become (and will continue) to be a very active player in some of the leading European innovation platforms. Some examples are:
2012-Ongoing – The European Minerals Day (EMD) is a biannual pan-European open day initiative fostering public awareness. This initiative is led by the European minerals sector and related organisations and has been recognised by the European Commission as a communication channel that supports the European Raw Materials Initiative, the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials and the EU Biodiversity Strategy. Learn more about this initiative by visiting 👉 IMA-Europe’s Projects Section.
2015-2018 – Mineral Intelligence Capacity Analysis (MICA) was a Horizon2020 project that brought together a multidisciplinary team of experts from natural and technical sciences, social sciences, and information science and technology to ensure that raw material intelligence is collected, collated, stored, and accessible in the most helpful way corresponding to stakeholder needs. Furthermore, the MICA project integrated 15 European geological surveys contributing to the work program as third parties by providing feedback to the project from the diverse range of backgrounds that characterise the European geoscience community.
2015-2018 – MINATURA 2020 was a Horizon2020 project that developed a concept and methodology (i.e. a harmonised European regulatory/guidance/policy framework) for the definition and subsequent protection of “mineral deposits of public importance” to ensure their “best use” in the future.
2016-Ongoing – MINLEX is an ongoing study commissioned by the European Commission on the legal framework for mineral extraction and permitting procedures for exploration and exploitation in the EU.
2016-2019 – Minerals Policy Guidance for Europe (MIN-GUIDE) was a Horizon2020 project that addressed the need for a secure and sustainable supply of minerals in Europe by developing a ‘Minerals Policy Guide’.
2017-2019 – Mineral Resources in Sustainable Land-Use Planning (MINLAND) was a Horizon2020 project that followed up on the MINATURA 2020 project seeking to integrate mineral resources policies into land-use planning.
- The European Commission has created a dedicated website that includes all the necessary information to understand the Raw Materials Initiative.
- The European Commission has created a dedicated website that includes all the necessary information to understand the Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) list.
- The European Commission has created a dedicated website that includes all the necessary information to understand the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on raw materials.