Developing a concept for a European minerals deposit framework

An EU-funded project with the overall objective of developing a concept and methodology for the definition and subsequent protection of “mineral deposits of public importance” in order to ensure their “best use” in the future in order to be included in a harmonised European regulatory/guidance/policy framework. Providing a policy-planning framework that comprises the “sustainability principle” for mining like for other land uses is the key driving force behind MINATURA2020.

The exploitation of minerals in Europe is an indispensable activity to ensure that the present and future needs of the European society can be met. This means that sufficient access is required to explore and exploit primary raw materials. At the same time, the mineral needs of our society must be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Accordingly, exploitable mineral deposits (including known geological deposits, abandoned mines and historical mining sites) need to be assessed in the face of other land uses, taking into account criteria such as agriculture, forestry, habitats for fauna and flora, other environmental concerns, priorities for settlements and infrastructure, etc. Access to mineral deposits, on the other hand, also meets public interests such as raw materials security (compared with many international access options). The deliberation between these diverse land uses requires adequate consideration of the exclusiveness, reversibility, and consequences on the surrounding.

MINATURA 2020 was a 3-year EU funded project that relies on the strength of an international consortium of 24 partners. All project partners have a demonstrated record of accomplishment of projects at national, international and commercial levels. They are active players in the international raw materials community, part of a well-established network and cover different domains (public and regulatory authorities, industry, academics, civil society, etc.).