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Minerals Policy Guidance for Europe

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MIN-GUIDE (Minerals Policy Guidance for Europe)

Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2019-01-31

"The secure and sustainable supply of raw materials is a pressing issue in the European Union due to Europe’s strong import dependency. Several factors, such as commodity market distortions, competing land use types, raw material demand for development, and rapid diffusion of key enabling technologies, might further endanger supply for Europe. MIN-GUIDE responded to the challenges outlined in the second pillar of the EU Raw Materials Initiative on fostering sustainable supply of raw materials from European sources, as the previous lack of comprehensive databases and scattered information on minerals- and related policies in the EU often led to non-harmonised terminology, inconsistencies, incomprehensiveness, and difficulties in localising and obtaining relevant and up-to-date information for policymakers and different user-groups. With the intention of bridging this gap, the MIN-GUIDE project created an Online Minerals Policy Guide (in the following referred to as ""the Online Guide""), which provides a user-friendly, comprehensive, up-to-date, and customisable information platform on minerals policy in Europe.
The project’s key objectives are: (1) to provide guidance for EU and EU Member States’ minerals policy; (2) to facilitate minerals policy decision making through knowledge co-production for the transferability of good practice minerals policy and industry innovation; and (3) to foster community and network building for the co-management of an innovation-catalysing minerals policy framework. Thus, MIN-GUIDE profiled relevant policy in Europe, identified innovation-friendly good practices through quantitative indicators, country-specific framework conditions, and compiled mineral statistics and reporting systems. These insights form the basis for the project’s key output, the Online Guide (https://www.researchgate.net/project/MIN-GUIDE-Minerals-Policy-Guidance-for-Europe/).
The MIN-GUIDE project provides recommendations on innovation-driving factors along the whole mining value chain (i.e. permitting, exploration, extraction, deep-sea mining, cross-border exploitation, processing, waste management, recycling, remediation, and mine closure), including recommendations on minerals policy governance and systematic reporting requirements for EU minerals data. The final project report (Policy and Innovation for Raw Materials and Minerals in Europe) provides concrete sets of recommendations for policymakers and practitioners, while, at the same time, drawing parallels to potential connections with the EU Circular Economy Package.

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Overall, MIN-GUIDE provided results and recommendations primarily addressing policymakers who work on the various aspects of minerals production, geological survey representatives (i.e. EU and national-level politicians and public administrators directly responsible for minerals policy design and adoption), and representatives of the minerals industry, including industry associations and individual companies, as well as geological surveys.
MIN-GUIDE results for practitioners are summarised in the final report “Policy and Innovation for Raw Materials and Minerals in Europe: Challenges, Characteristics and Good Practices”, 2018 (read the full reports at https://www.researchgate.net/project/MIN-GUIDE-Minerals-Policy-Guidance-for-Europe/ or on www.researchgate.net). This report brings together results and forms recommendations for MIN-GUIDE target stakeholders on innovation-driving factors along the whole mining value chain (i.e. permitting, exploration, extraction, deep sea mining, cross-border exploitation, processing, waste management, recycling, remediation, and mine closure) with important recommendations on policy governance and recommended standardisation and systematic reporting requirements for EU minerals data. Moreover, the project had continuous engagement with stakeholders and dissemination of results through a series of 5 Policy Laboratory Workshops and 3 conferences.
The finalisation of the Online Guide was one of the key project tools for dissemination and contains information on (status as of January 2019):
1) A description of 1,357 policy information items related to the mining sector and other policy sectors, such as environment and spatial planning;
2) a description of 21 EU Member States’ minerals policy governance frameworks;
3) an analysis and description of 33 good practice cases on minerals policy governance, as well as industry innovation in exploration and extraction;
4) information on 23 EU Member State contact points for minerals policy - the National Focal Points, and
5) an overview of mining permitting in all 28 EU MS.
The Guide includes a number of features, which contribute to its user-friendliness and easy access to information: An advanced search function, synthesised good practice case descriptions, as well as EU Member State country profiles.
MIN-GUIDE provided guidance for future mineral policy design, implementation and revision that foster sustainable mineral production innovations. To that end, the project profiled existing EU MS’ minerals policy frameworks as well as facilitated stakeholder knowledge exchange and community building, and used dissemination channels that were tailored to specific target audiences.
Overall, the project results (Online Guide and all project deliverables) provided the baseline on knowledge sharing and learning experiences for participants of MIN-GUIDE events: The Policy Laboratory Workshop and Annual Conference interactive sessions provided unique learning opportunities for participants in terms of knowledge and capacity increase regarding innovation-friendly policy design, implementation, and revision. The MIN-GUIDE approach and feedback surveys demonstrated that these knowledge sharing and learning experiences positively impacted the participants’ daily practical work, because they were: (1) context relevant and useful; (2) applied real world examples; and (3) well communicated through varies facilitation concepts and event sessions.
The continuous development of the Online Guide during the project's lifetime allowed the project team to sequentially feed in project results, promote the Online Guide to a broader stakeholder community and, as a consequence, were able to early on in the project: 1) guarantee usability; 2) support contextualized use by key stakeholders; and 3) provide feedback to the project team for its further elaboration. Therefore, the Online Guide: 1) facilitated a transparent and clear understanding of minerals policy frameworks in EU Member States; 2) informed about innovation potential and spread good practice case knowledge for policy makers and industry alike; and 3) via its open access approach, increased public awareness and acceptance on the mining sectors challenges for the policy sector, businesses & industry, civil society and research stakeholders.
MIN-GUIDE events (3 Annual Conferences and 5 Policy Laboratory Workshops) acted as a platform for networking and community building and, thus, provided many of opportunities to interact, network, and exchange for interested stakeholders. MIN-GUIDE events, operating as an extension of the activities of the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials, set the basis for more deeply integrating the mineral production debates on multiple levels (EU, EU MS, regional), in different policy settings (e.g. circular economy and resource efficiency), among diverse stakeholder groups (industry, policy, civil society etc.), and among existing initiatives.
MIN-GUIDE at a glance