Minerals are raw materials essential for modern society. They are used to build roads and houses, and to produce cars, computers, and household appliances. The mining and quarrying industry which extracts these minerals is very important to industrial, social, and technological progress in the EU.
Division of non-energy extractive industries
This non-energy extractive industry is usually divided into three main sub-sectors, based on the different characteristics of the minerals, their use, and the downstream industries they supply
Why the industry is important
EU Economy – in 2006, the industry generated a turnover of about €45 billion and provided about 295,000 jobs.
Downstream users – the construction, chemicals, automotive, aerospace, machinery, and equipment sectors all depend on raw materials. These sectors provide a total value added of about €1.324 billion and employment for 30 million people.
Industrial minerals such as barytes, kaolin, or salt are extracted within the EU to supply a wide range of industries. For some minerals such as magnesite, fluorspar, kaolin, and potash, Europe is among the major global producers. More on industrial minerals.
The EU metallic minerals sector produces a wide range of ores yielding metals or metallic substances. The EU is an important producer of chromium, copper, lead, silver, and zinc.To fully supply the EU metals industry however, most metallic minerals need to be imported. More on metallic minerals.
Most common construction minerals are aggregates (sand, gravel, and crushed natural stone), various brick clays, gypsum, and natural ornamental or dimension stone. The demand for construction minerals is high. The sector mainly consists of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating over 20,000 extraction sites that supply local and regional markets. More on construction minerals.
- National Minerals Policy Indicators (357 kB) - the report assesses how the policy impacts on the performance of the extractive sector and the development of well-managed mining projects
- Exchange of good practice for the sustainable supply of raw materials within the EU (1 MB) with Annex (2 MB)
- Minerals Planning Policies and Supply Practices in Europe (211 kB) - the study provides information on the different approaches to mineral planning policies and practices of EU countries
- Improving Framework Conditions for Extracting Minerals for EU: Exchanging best practise on land use planning, permitting and geological knowledge sharing (2 MB)
- Recommendations on the framework conditions for the extraction of non-energy raw materials in the European Union" – Report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Exchange of best practices on mineral policy and legal framework, information framework, land-use planning and permitting was adopted by the Raw Materials Supply Group on 6 November 2014