Europe’s Mining Renaissance, a Catalyst for Climate Neutrality

af | 7. maj 2024 | Industri, Politik, Politik - Europa

​For this documentary, the film’s presenter, Peter Tom Jones, travelled to the far North of Sweden and Southern Finland. He descended 1,400 m underground to explore the illustrious underground iron ore/rare earth mine in the Arctic town of Kiruna, and visited Europe’s largest open pit copper mine and its vast tailing ponds in Aitik. To obtain a view of the indigenous people of the far North, Jones engaged with a key spokesperson from the reindeer-herding Sami in their homeland of Sapmi, where he also met with local citizens in Kiruna. In Finland he got to visit a bespoke battery assembly plant that is asking for more EU-sourced input materials, while in Belgium he interviewed various experts about Europe’s CRM potential and how mining waste can be transformed into green, low-carbon construction materials.

Jones also sat down with the European Commission’s Executive Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič to see how Europe’s new Critical Raw Materials Act aligns with the need to open new energy-transition mines. Šefčovič corroborated the urgent need for Mining Renaissance in Europe: “Mining had a bad aura around it, but that is gradually changing. We know that the European mines are the most responsible ones in the world. It’s our ethos. But, to meet the 2030 targets of the Critical Raw Materials Act, we will need to make it a little easier for the investors to come and invest in new European energy-transition mines.” Will Europe get its act together and secure its strategic autonomy? Will the “strategic projects” within the Critical Raw Materials Act – that would benefit from access to finance and shorter permitting timeframes – trigger the opening of new energy-transition mines before 2030? Or will anti-mining opposition and NIMBYism throw a spanner in the wheel? Jones: “The clock is ticking mercilessly, and Europe is at risk losing out”.

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