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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Standardization of sustainable mining management systems

Objectives of the commitment

Despite the several schemes related to the certification of sustainability in the mining activity developed by different groups of stakeholders (e.g. power companies, banks or big mining companies), there is currently a lack of a common procedure to assess the sustainability adapted to the characteristics of the European SMEs in mining sector.
Standards are a powerful tool, and the objective of the commitment is to develop European Standards of Sustainable Mining Management. The standards would include requirements and measurable indicators and, if possible, be compatible with some of the existing schemes.
The existing Spanish Standards UNE 22470 “Sustainable Mining Management indicators” and UNE 22480 “SMM system requirements” will be used as a basis for the new standard, and the suitability of the developed document should be checked by some pilot projects in different countries.

Description of the activities

The main part of the work will be focused on the development of a standard making sure that it would be adequate for a practical use by European SMEs in the mining sector
The main activities would be:
1. Forum creation and stakeholder’s involvement.
2. Standards development
3. Standards applicability and validation
4. Revision, if needed
5. Diffusion
And the short explanation for each of them:
1. Preferably the forum would be a technical committee (TC) or similar under the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) or ISO. Due to practical reasons not all the other “sector” initiatives can participate as partners, but desirably, all the sectors should be involved as stakeholders.
2. Is the core activity. Based on the existing identified documents and with the input of the stakeholders, a standard should be developed. The Spanish standards which have been successfully applied during the last years are currently under revision. The revision is taking into consideration some of the international schemes related to sustainability, like GRI, Better Coal, UN Global Compact or Equator principles. If possible, the standard should be compatible with those initiatives and also with the existing management systems (quality, environmental, energy, etc.). The convenience of developing specific indicators for each subsector (metals, aggregates, natural stone, …) will be analyzed. The current Spanish standards to be used as a reference are based on the well known Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle and therefore, the compatibility with other management systems is foreseen to be good. The approval of a standard cannot be guaranteed in advance, because it depends on many factors, but the partners will do their best to publish a standard or to develop a similar document (technical specification, CEN workshop agreement, publicly available specification, etc.). The whole development process of a standard could take a long time and the commitment is to propose the text, not necessarily to publish the final document within the target dates.
3. Standards are useful only if they can be implemented. Some of the indicators could seem very logic written on a paper, but might be difficult to be put into practice. Therefore, the new standards will be tested in a number of mining operations proposed by the partners. After that, the conformity of the implementation will be assessed through a third part certification or a similar auditing process.
4. With the input derived from the implementation, the draft of standard will be revised, if needed. Depending on the development phase of the standard the revision will be managed in a different way; publishing an amendment, drafting a new version, introducing the comments during enquiry phase, etc.
5. Diffusion is also a very important activity, because the usefulness of the document is directly proportional to its spread. The participation is sector fairs and different fora will be crucial to succeed. Also some related activities could be done, like videos, online course, leaflets, etc.
If the standard is seen to be suitable, it could also be proposed to become an international standard under ISO procedure, boosting its potential impact.

Description of the expected impacts

The different procedures existing today for the certification of the sustainability of the mining activity (GRI, Bettercoal, etc.) are private initiatives, mainly focused to large companies, and in particular to those operating in conflict or less developed countries. Their practical implementation is complex and expensive, and therefore is not well suited for small and medium size mining operations, which are the most common in Europe.
Developing a European Standard on the sustainability of mining operations will facilitate the implementation of this type of management systems in European mining SMEs, as this process can be easily integrated with other existing management systems. In addition, as based in a public scheme, the implementation and certification procedures will be cheaper, as they could be done by any consultant and auditing companies active in the sector.
The expected impacts are:
1. Promote a common vision of sustainability in the non-energy extractive industry at European level.
2. Facilitate the implementation of a voluntary sustainable mining management scheme with indicators specifically adapted to the non-energy extractive industry sectors in Europe.
3. Facilitate the integration of mining sustainability concepts in existing and future European legislation.
4. Improve trust relationship among all the stakeholders
5. Improve the social acceptance of mining activities.
6. Contribute to economic and social development of local communities.
7. Improve the efficient use of natural resources.
8. Improve restoration and rehabilitation of natural areas affected by mining activities.
9. Promote the use of best available techniques.
10. Contribute to the streamlining the permitting procedure.
11. Help to formalize the set of data to be provided to the authorities for statistical or other regulatory purposes

Coordinating organisation & role

Name of the coordinating organisation: AENORCountry: SpainEntity profile: OtherRole within the commitment:

Managing the whole process
Ensuring the permissions to use copyright documents (UNE 22470, UNE 22480, etc.)
Leading the standardization process
Acting as secretariat in the relevant technical committees or relevant working groups
Reporting addequately
Ensuring all the partners play their assigned roles

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 01-04-2015 to 01-04-2018