Explore what kind of raw materials are mined in different European countries

(metals and industrial minerals)

Security of Supply: It starts with us!

Security of Supply: It starts with us!

The European mineral raw materials sector supports a wide variety of industries through the supply of raw materials, and in this role as well as within the mining sector itself, we must prioritise both sustainable efforts and competitiveness.

The global population is forecast to reach 9 billion by 2030, including 3 billion new middle-class consumers. All of these wish to secure their livelihoods and, if possible, increase their standards of living. This will increase demand for products and their related raw materials. In order to meet this challenge and to satisfy it with sustainably sourced raw materials, a shift towards more resource efficient production, increased recovery and reprocessing along the value chains and a the end of life of products will be important.

Latest developments have also illustrated how important it is to have resilient supply chains, and therefore Europe’s economy also needs increased supply of raw materials from European sources and needs to reduce its dependencies on imports.

The current situation clearly shows that the overall European economy’s dependence on mineral raw materials from China is a threat to Europe’s economy. We would like to highlight that Europe has its own mineral resources, world-class deposits and still major potential. By increasing domestic mineral production, Europe becomes less dependent and improves its sustainable supply chain.

Security of Supply for EU Medical Sector

The rapid spread of the Coronavirus has created alarming health concerns across the globe, but it has also led to serious economic issues. The global crisis brings security supply of key value chains to the forefront of our attention as a sector. The European mineral raw materials industry plays a critical role in ensuring the manufacturing of medical devices in Europe.

We have become dependent on highly specialised metals and alloys that require a vast array of minerals and metals. Some are relatively rare metals, yet essential in the manufacturing of advanced technological products including medical devices. In order to create some of these products, mineral raw materials need to undergo a transformation from the mining industry into a wide variety of other industries throughout Europe.

Maintaining, developing and improving our lifestyle is only possible through new innovations and better applications. The European mineral raw materials industry supplies the metals and minerals that make these new developments possible.

Key Value Chain: MEDICAL – PDF to download

Key Value Chain: MEDICAL – Flipbook

Security of Supply: Metals and Minerals for Health Reasons

Europe’s metals and minerals play a key role in contributing to the pharmaceutical and medical sector when it comes to resources used to develop drugs, supplements and medical technology.

Many people realize that medical devices and technologies are made from metals, but mineral and metal applications in supplements and pharmaceuticals are often overlooked. The average citizen isn’t aware that mineral raw materials are used in a variety of ways such as binding or lubricating to make pills hold their shape, dissolve faster or go down easier. Minerals and metals are also essential ingredients in supplements that help keep our bodies functioning well or increase recovery speed after illness.

To name only a few examples: magnesium is used in stomach medicines and as a laxative, calcium aids nerve transmission as well as being essential for bone health, zinc helps reduce common cold symptoms, silver and copper have antimicrobial properties, and gold complexes are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

These metals and minerals, mined right here in Europe, contribute to the advancement of modern medicine, medical technology and the pharmaceutical industry. They are the irreplaceable building blocks of our modern medical world, without which it would cease to exist in its modern form.

Key Value Chain: PHARMACEUTICAL and FOOD SUPPLEMENTS – PDF to download


Securing the Mineral Raw Materials for the Electronics Value Chain

Our critical dependence on electronics means we are equally dependent on the mineral raw materials needed to make them.

The modern era is defined by technological developments, from the highest levels of industry to the mundane activities of everyday life. We carry high-tech computers around in our pockets, drive smart cars and sometimes even brew coffee with the help of computer chips. Technological advances have made industrial processes of all kinds more efficient, productive and sustainable than ever before. Technological innovation grows exponentially.

A major area of our technological dependence is on electronics. This includes just about everything with a computer chip, such as personal computers, domestic appliances, cars and of course large-scale technologies such as those used in factories or supercomputers. Additionally, digitisation is a top priority for the EC, and Euromines support’s the EC’s efforts to make sure digital technology benefits people and businesses and contributes to achieving a climate-neutral Europe.

Our critical dependence on electronics means we are equally dependent on the mineral raw materials needed to make them. Technology requires a large variety of minerals and metals, many of which are rare or difficult to acquire. The essential nature of securing the mineral raw materials that support the electronics value chain combined with the challenges of sourcing some of these materials makes it critical that we make this value chain a priority moving forward.

The European mineral raw materials sector is working to secure supply to ensure we can meet all of these needs as we grow and develop.

Key Value Chain: ELECTRONICS – PDF to download

Key Value Chain: ELECTRONICS – Flipbook

Steel Value Chain: Providing Metals and Minerals for Carbon Neutrality

The importance of ensuring affordability and availability of raw material supplies to European businesses has been recognised as necessary for remaining globally competitive. Euromines members invest heavily in Europe, reducing their customers' dependence on foreign imports and thereby helping to secure a sustainable supply of the raw materials they need.

The EU mineral raw materials industry is the base for other EU industries, ensuring a minimum of supply of metals and minerals, some of them identified as critical and strategic for the value chains required for the European economy and its transition to a low carbon economy. The example of steel value chain shows the importance of metals and minerals for this transition.

Steel is the most fundamental material used across the board, but by combining even small amounts of other minerals or metals, producers can create stronger, lighter, more heat resistant materials or ones with more or less electrical conductivity for the different parts or products. For example, alloys that are lightweight are perfect for aircraft, and heat resistant component are essential for keeping hot engines of many machines safe for use.

Renewable sources of energy are essential to humanity’s future, and mining is essential to the growth and development of this industry. A single wind turbine can contain up to several hundred tons of steel, several tons of copper and aluminium, as well as steel reinforced concrete for the base. Today, the main materials used in many kinds of infrastructure are concrete, steel and steel alloys. These are made from raw materials like iron, nickel, aluminium, graphite, manganese and chromium.

Electricity consumption in the raw materials sector will rise due to the switch to greener energy and to higher quality products leading to energy savings in the downstream processing industries. The EU raw materials sector provides the basis for many industrial sectors and their decarbonisation strategies by providing the materials as key enablers.

Key Value Chain: STEEL – PDF to download

Key Value Chain: STEEL – Flipbook

The logistics industry currently plays and will continue to play a substantial role within the overall economy

Within the EU, logistics accounts for about 7% of EU GDP and 5% of total employment in the EU. Logistics is an enabler for both global trade and local economies. Efficient and sustainable logistics play a vital role in the smooth functioning of many other services and activities in the economy. For instance, 18% of the wholesale and retail trade sectors’ added value originates with logistics services. COVID-19 and the measures taken to control its spread have created unprecedented conditions for nations’ and the world’s transportation and supply chain networks.

The sustainability of urban logistics is a challenge for rapidly growing cities in Europe but also worldwide. Investing in innovative urban logistics solutions, such as cooperative ITS solutions, autonomous mobility and unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), can play a vital part in reducing negative environmental impact, improving logistics efficiency and increasing customer value.

Many countries in Europe are working hard to reduce carbon emissions by getting more electric vehicles on our roads. The batteries for these cars have traditionally contained significant amounts of cobalt and lithium. Other raw materials used can include graphite, nickel, zinc, magnesium, cadmium and manganese.

There are today about 8 billion electric motors in use in the EU, consuming nearly 50% of the electricity EU produces. These motors are used in a large range of applications from small-sized electronic products to e-bikes to large motors found in electric drivetrains in vehicles and heavy transport.