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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Optimizing the Minerals Policy Framework at EU and National Levels by 2020

Objectives of the commitment

Developing EU mineral resources is challenging due to reduced access to resources, public opposition, problematic permitting processes, inconsistent minerals policies, heterogeneous legislative frameworks, and a scarcity of reliable data. The objective of this commitment is to contribute to ensuring a stable and competitive supply of raw materials from EU sources to promote good governance and facilitate public acceptance. Sub-objectives are to enhance EU efforts to harmonize national mineral policies and plans, as well as permitting and reporting on primary and secondary minerals, based on best practice, so as to ease the access to primary and secondary resources, improve transnational permitting procedures, contribute to the definition of transnational standards for exchange of data and knowledge, and offer a more transparent and participative exchange of ideas with stakeholders.

Description of the activities

The consortium members’ past and current work responds to problems described above and in the SIP, in line with the objectives described in Action area II.1: Minerals Policy Framework. OPTIMIN will contribute to implementation of the SIP by building on their knowledge and experience through a series of inter-related activities applicable to all land-based and marine, primary and secondary, non-energy mineral resources. The activities link Actions (II.1,1; II.1, 5; II.1, 7; II.9, 12) and also link to other Action areas (II.2,2; II.3,1). Activities will benefit from the multidisciplinary, multinational (43 partners) nature of the consortium.
(Act.1 - "Know") Minerals policies and also other relevant ones, primarily on waste management (including secondary raw materials) plus sustainable economic and social development and environmental preservation will be considered. Develop and utilize a set of criteria and indicators (C&I) of effective policies/legislation to examine whether minerals-relevant EU policies/legislation are achieving their stated goals, i.e., score and rank policies, identifying strengths, weaknesses, unintended consequences and gaps. Compare all mineral relevant EU and member state policies/legislation utilizing the C&I to identify areas in need of improvement and best practices. I Survey industry including SME’s, and other stakeholders, to ascertain how they believe the minerals sector is impacted by EU and national/regional policies/legislation.
(Act.2 - "Share") Assess the current EU knowledge standard related to minerals data (reserves/resources, consumption, secondary raw materials) and recommend a new, harmonized approach that identifies gaps, and a minimum and optimum set of criteria for national reporting focused on providing data suitable not only for Public Authorities but also for all the stakeholders involved in the supply chain. Identify good practice/governance with respect to the utilization of mineral classification systems in order to harmonize national primary and secondary mineral resources inventories by international standards (e.g. PERC in EU and UNFC). Contribute to a pan-European knowledge standard on policy by updating and extending the results of Legal Basics of Mineral Policy in Europe (G.Tiess, 2011), which already includes descriptions and URLs to policies and legislation, by including current policies/legislation and also links to other policy areas. Develop a Framework Directive on data/policy based on the foregoing.
(Act.3 - "Participate") Extend the SNAP capacity building and stakeholder consultation experience and Handbook beyond aggregates to the general minerals community and its various stakeholders, including identifying capacity building materials, assisting in the organization of meetings, and facilitating the interactions of diverse stakeholders. Organize workshops and knowledge-sharing events, drawing on the results of the policy comparison, identified best practices, and ranking processes, and input from Member states, and stakeholders.
(Act. 4 - "Change") Compare permitting procedures across EU, and develop a method to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of different approaches, including how they could be adapted to apply to mineral deposits of public importance. Determine what should be included in a permitting toolbox, in what format, and organized in what manner to ensure that it is applicable across different authorities and in nations with differing regulatory approaches to permitting, utilizing the SARMa/SNAP experience and methods, plus other approaches.

Description of the expected impacts

The key, overarching impact of OPTIMIN will be to develop a framework that provides the means to make informed decisions with respect to minerals in a more homogeneous context for the whole EU. Prior to EU level decisions for raw materials and mining sector, more accurate and comprehensive studies can be prepared.
Minerals policy, legislation, regulation, permitting and national implementation in the EU will be harmonized based on a ‘best possible compromise’. Enhanced public reporting on primary and secondary resources will improve the transparency of information on raw materials and contribute to social learning. This, combined with stakeholder consultation, will increase access to mineral resources based on greater public acceptance of minerals production. This will allow prudent use of existing and future mineral deposits, as well as former mining sites to be re-opened if appropriate, which will reduce time and costs and reduce the EU’s mineral import dependency.

Coordinating organisation & role

Name of the coordinating organisation: Montanuniversitaet Leoben (MUL, University of Leoben)Country: AustriaEntity profile: AcademiaRole within the commitment:

Leader and coordinator

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.


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.


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.


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 01-03-2014 to 31-12-2020