Research and innovation

Raw materials policies and strategies

Joint educational and skills programmes

Licensing and permitting procedures, royalties and tax policies

Data reporting systems

Exploration, extraction, processing and recycling practices

Management and substitution of critical raw materials

International cooperation opportunities related to raw materials

Background

INTRAW_project_HR        europe union

The Observatory is a long-lasting and self-sustained spin-off of the H2020 funded project INTRAW (2015-2018), developed by a Consortium of 15 organisations, with the support of 24 third parties and more than 40 Experts from Europe, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, South Africa and the United States.

The project has mapped best practices on mineral raw materials policies in five reference countries (Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa and the USA), and advanced a roadmap to foster the EU response to global challenges on mineral raw materials supply.

Why INTRAW?

In the last decade, a structural change has taken place in global mineral markets and the global demand for raw materials stands at the bottom of a new growth curve. In this perspective, safeguarding the domestic minerals supply will be challenging for the European Union and all other technologically advanced countries to ensure economic sustainability and to improve our quality of life. In this sense, the European Commission’s communication “The raw materials initiative — meeting our critical needs for growth and jobs in Europe” (November 2008) recognises the need to address the raw materials issue at a high political level to ensure future security of supply for Europe.

The European Union’s overall growth strategy “Europe 2020” (2010) outlines the EU’s aim to develop into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. In this context, seven so-called flagship initiatives were presented as new engines to boost growth and jobs. Two of these initiatives are particularly relevant for the INTRAW project:

The core message of “An Industrial Policy for the Globalisation Era” is that industry must be placed centre stage if Europe is to remain a global economic leader. Only a European Raw Materials Policy targeting competitiveness and sustainability on an international level can muster the critical mass of change and coordination needed for success.

“A resource-efficient Europe”intends to support the shift towards a resource-efficient, low-carbon economy to achieve sustainable growth. Europe needs technological improvements and significant changes in the fields of raw materials research, recycling, energy, industrial production and transport systems.

In addition, the European Commission established in 2010 the European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs). An EIP on Raw Materials was set up in 2012 to promote research and innovation along the entire value chain of raw materials.

The work of the INTRAW project and the International Raw Materials Observatory are fully aligned with the mission of the EIP on Raw Materials and contribute to achieving its targets.

Project objectives

The INTRAW project has been formulated with the objective of mapping best practices and boosting cooperation opportunities on raw materials with technologically advanced non-EU countries (Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States) in response to similar global challenges.

The long-term objectives of INTRAW were to:

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Enhance the EU’s scientific capabilities in the raw materials area in the mid- and long-term.
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Contribute to the transparency and harmonisation of mineral policies all over the EU.

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Benefit the EU industry conditions for sustainable access and supply of raw materials (within the EU).

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Promote evidence-based policies and appropriate, cost-effective management, planning and adaptation decisions by the public sector.

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Foster a stable and synergetic cooperation with technologically advanced countries.

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Foster a stable and synergetic cooperation with technologically advanced countries.

Project partners

Under the coordination of the European Federation of Geologists (EFG), INTRAW has brought together an international consortium of 15 partners from 9 European countries, Australia, South Africa and the USA with extensive experience in research, innovation, education, industry, trade and international networking across the entire raw materials value chain, in particular:

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4 public and private research and innovation driven organisations:

ATSE, CSIR, FCT and Fraunhofer

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2 geosciences organisations:

covering education, industry, academia, policy making, professional practice and sciences communication: EFG and AGI

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1 international standardisation body applied to mining: 

PERC

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2 universities

University of Exeter and University of Miskolc

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4 SMEs

LPRC, Recifemetal, RCI and MinPol

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1 geological survey:

GeoZS

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1 industry association: 

Assimagra

 

Panels of experts

 

Three expert panels, each comprising a mix of European experts and representatives of technologically advanced countries (Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, South Africa and the USA), have supported the project consortium:

Panel of Experts on Research & Innovation

Panel of Experts on Education & Outreach

Panel of Experts on Industry & Trade

The Panels of Experts included senior representatives from international organisations (IUGS, CRIRSCO, EUROMINES, IMA-EUROPE, the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, the American Institute of Professional Geologists, the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, the Geological Society of South Africa and EuroGeoSurveys). The Panels also included representatives with deep knowledge of global mining companies such as Lundin Mining, Antofagasta or BHP Billington, and experts from research centres and universities such as the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, the Luleå University of Technology, and the Wroclaw University of Technology.

The Experts being all outstanding representatives of the international raw materials community, the main function of the Panels has been to mobilise knowledge and to strengthen the consortium’s capacity in reaching out towards stakeholders.

 

Outcomes

 

The project’s ultimate goal was to set up and launch the International Raw Materials Observatory as a definitive raw materials knowledge management infrastructure.

 

More information about the project outcomes can also be found in the section