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Λογότυπος της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής
Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

EU Responsible mining demonstrations: best practice and capacity building

Objectives of the commitment

Social acceptance of non-energy mineral raw materials extractive activities is a key to the sustainable supply of these raw materials from European sources, one of the three pillars of the EU Raw Materials Initiative.

Building on the experience gained at the broad international and corporate levels, the REMIND commitment objective is to develop and implement an EU "Responsible Mining" concept. Based on existing experience at EU and international levels, it will:
• Develop multi-stakeholder dialogue in support of sustainable non-energy extractive industries;
• Develop and promote a "EU Responsible Mining Charter" and related sustainable performance reporting, building on existing sustainability indicators frameworks and reporting guidelines, with suggestions on possible needs for additional or improved indicators;
• Foster the development of institutional and corporate capacities to implement the concept.

Description of the activities

The development of "Responsible", "Green Mining" or, more generally, sustainable mineral raw materials extractive activities, is a core objective of national (mineral) raw materials strategies developed and published by several EU governments since 2010, see for example Germany, Finland, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The implementation of this commitment will, if supported by the necessary EU co-funding, be implemented in two phases:

PHASE I (18 months)
• Identification of responsible mining initiatives or, more generally, good practice in the sustainable production of non-energy mineral raw materials, with particular focus on successful multi-stakeholder dialogue and consensus development in support of sustainable mining projects;
• Set-up an Advisory board of organisations/ competent persons to provide guidance and experience to the project;
• Identification of responsible mining related requirements of EU mining codes;
• Identification, and assessment at EU and global scale of existing voluntary sustainability reporting frameworks related to the full mining project lifecycle (exploration, mining, ore processing, waste disposal, mine closure and aftercare). Examples are the European Commission Non-Energy Extractive Sustainable Development Indicators published in 2003, the "Circumpolar Information Guide on Mining for Indigenous Peoples and Northern Communities" (Arctic Council), the “Pan-European Reserves and Resources Reporting Committee” reporting code (PERC) and other CRIRSCO aligned codes, the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the Global Mining Initiative and the International Cyanide Management Code;
• Development of an EU guidance document, or a series of documents, on responsible mining, built upon the identified good practice, addressing all the above mentioned stages of a mining project;
• Development of publicly available e-learning modules to assist in training the staff of the public authorities in charge of the mine licencing procedure, especially from the national environmental authorities, to help them in their evaluation of the technically complex documentation to be provided by mining companies with their application for mining permits;
• Development of a “Responsible mining” charter defining voluntary obligations for participating companies in the project. This will include a verification process based on an agreed sustainable performance reporting framework.

PHASE II (48 months) – tentative outline (to be fully identified during Phase I)
• Implementation of the “Responsible mining” charter by participating companies particularly through the publication of the sustainable performance data of their operations, by the organisation of a proactive dialogue with their stakeholders – especially with populations concerned by the potential development of future activities;
• Monitoring and evaluation of the deployment of the “Responsible mining” concept using the verification process defined during Phase I;
• Identification of further needs for research and innovation activities;
• Enlargement of the number of companies and institutions committed to the “Responsible mining” Charter;
• Outreach actions, such as conferences, organisation by participating companies of a yearly "Mining day" for their stakeholders and the general public, website/ EU mineral resources portal, videos, meetings with stakeholders, preparation of educative materials targeting secondary school and university students, support to developping countries.

Description of the expected impacts

Public acceptance of quarrying and mining activities within the EU is one of the key conditions for a stable supply of non-energy mineral raw materials needed by the EU economy, in complement to the enhancement of the circular component of the economy based on a combination of more efficient resource use; the minimization of harmful waste and emissions; eco-efficient product design; recycling; and the search for more eco-efficient substitute materials.

Through the development of public trust, based on accountability of industrial operations, the project aims at lowering the prevailing public distrust in the mining industry, to make the EU a more attractive location for minerals and raw materials investment. The key impact will therefore be a higher rate of supply of mineral raw materials to the EU from EU sources, reducing the exposure of the EU economies to:
• Market distortions created by various non-EU countries that implement tariff and non-tariff barriers to the free trade and movement of minerals and metals;
• Actions by third party countries in resource-rich countries;
• Geopolitical hazards;
• The environmental, social and political impacts associated with some imports.

Moreover, through the implementation of verifiable sustainable performance reporting, and through raising awareness of its value to all stakeholders, the companies participating in this project will contribute to enhanced resource efficiency and the extent to which decoupling between growth and the environmental impacts of growth is taking place and can continue.

The project will also impact positively on the education of students and the general public in sustainable natural resources management.

Coordinating organisation & role

Name of the coordinating organisation: BRGM, the French Geological SurveyCountry: FranceEntity profile: Governmental/public bodyRole within the commitment:

Partnership coordination, scientific contributions in relation to sustainable development, international networking, mineral exploration, ore processing, biohydrometallurgy, material flows and life cycle analysis, post mining management, environmental management. Follow-up of the operations in France and management of the French Responsible Mining project (Ministry for Industrial Renewal - BRGM)

Other partners

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.

Name of the organisation: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V. Country: Germany Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: Fraunhofer will lead the CFRP and GFRP recycling research.
Fraunhofer will perform corrosion tests on the developed materials.
Fraunhofer will work with CIDAUT on the implementation, validation and refinement of LCCA tools for the project. Fraunhofer is the Quality Manager of the Consortium and will oversee deliverables and general reporting are produced with the best possible quality following agreed review standards.

Fundacion Cidaut

Name of the organisation: Fundacion Cidaut Country: Spain Entity profile:
Role within the commitment: CIDAUT will lead the research activities on materials recycling and compounding, implementing lab scale demonstrators of each process at its premises and, later, supporting end-users upscale the processes.
CIDAUT will perform mechanical tests, microstructural analyses, injection moulding capability studies on the developed materails, and will work with Fraunhofer on the implementation, validation and refinement of LCCA tools for the project.

RWTH Aachen University (Institute of plastic processing (IKV)

Name of the organisation: RWTH Aachen University (Institute of plastic processing (IKV) Country: Germany Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: RWTH will implement the novel 3D Generative Preforming process (3D Fibre Spraying) that enables to create high-value long fibre-reinforced 3D preforms for thermoplastic and thermoset composites at low process costs (different kinds of yarn as a raw material, low tooling costs due to low cavity pressures). This cost effective technology allows to align the sprayed fibres in order to produce high-performance, engineered anisotropic products.

Universita' di Cagliari

Name of the organisation: Universita' di Cagliari Country: Italy Entity profile:
Role within the commitment: University of Cagliari is one of the leading European organization in the resin design and coupling with thermoplastic and thermose materials. University of Cagliari will support in the definition of the composite materials, both from CFRP/GFRP, ABS and Rare Earth composite material.

Relight

Name of the organisation: Relight Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: RELIGHT will work with ITRB to provide the research partners with residues for the recycled ABS supply and the REE recovery processes, including their HydroWEEE process as part of the processes to be studied and analyzed.

Piaggio Aerospace

Name of the organisation: Piaggio Aerospace Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - large company
Role within the commitment: Piaggio Aerospace is one of the project End Users (Aeronautics Industry): as such it will provide requirements and further applications that could be developed with the Consortium Materials. Piaggio will assist in the compounds selection, provide Fraunhofer with specific corrosion requirements on business jet size aircraft, and will assess that the developed materials performance fits the selected applications desired improvements.

Blackshape Aircrafts

Name of the organisation: Blackshape Aircrafts Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: Blackshape Aircrafts is one of the project End Users (Aeronautics Industry): as such it will provide requirements and further applications that could be developed with the Consortium Materials. Blackshape will support to fulfill the requirements of the aeronautics industry on ultra light jet, light jet and trainer for Syllabus, and will assess that the developed alloys performance fits the selected applications desired improvements.

KU Leuven

Name of the organisation: KU Leuven Country: Belgium Entity profile: Academia
Role within the commitment: KUL will collaborate on the balance problem studies and will lead the rare earth recovery research with the solvometallurgical and ionometallurgical processes.
KUL will also contribute to the final compounding selection.
KUL is the Dissemination Manager of the project, promoting that all partners are active on the project Dissemination.

FIDAMC

Name of the organisation: FIDAMC Country: Spain Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: FIDAMC is going to lead the Work Package on Compression Moulding with CFRP-enhanced materials. As part of the AIRBUS Group, FIDAMC will also be able to provide the input material.
FIDAMC successfully developed a 3D Printer of own design to serve the Aerospace Industry and will be supporting Smart Lab 3D Industries in its 3D printer design.

COMPOSITE INNOVATION CENTER

Name of the organisation: COMPOSITE INNOVATION CENTER Country: Canada Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: Composite Innovation Center is one of the world leading organization in the field of Composite materials, both from carbon fiber and vegetal-based fibers.
Composite Innovation center has successfully implemented, at lab-scale, recycling processes for CFRP and GFRP.

Existing EU Contribution: No

Period to implement the commitment: from 04-01-2016 to 30-06-2018