Spotlight on Europe

Overview

The European mining industry has a long tradition, but today Europe is far better known for its innovative industries as mining has dwindled over the past 50 years. Today only a handful of European countries have active mines, and a good deal of materials (largely metal ores) are imported from abroad. However, Europe is rich in natural resources and mining may be coming back into the spotlight with the continent's aim to create a greener economy and become increasingly self-sufficient.

Mines are symbolic of the industrial revolution in Europe, but these days are largely located elsewhere on the planet. However, with the green revolution underway, mining and exploration are necessary to facilitate the desired shift to a greener economy and digital future. REE and other critical metals are vital for current technologies and for competitive economic growth. Lithium for electric cars and graphite for batteries is respectively processed and produced in China and imported to Europe. Europe's ‘need for lithium will increase by at least 18 times between now and 2030, and by 60 times by 2050’, just one statistic showing the importance of developing European supply chains.

The European Commission is aiming to make better use of its resources available working with Member States to establish mining and commodity processing projects that can be operational by 2025. To initiate the secure, sustainable supply of raw materials, on 29th September 2020 Europe banded together to create the European Raw Materials Alliance. This is a strategy to make Europe a world leader in decarbonisation and innovation, and to enable an independent, clean energy transition and to be competitive in the automotive sector. Our partners Mawson Resources, are a member of this alliance thanks to their advanced cobalt-gold project in Finland.