The European Minerals Conference Madrid 2010 – The EU Raw Materials Initiative: Sustainable access to resources in Europe was held on 17.06.2010, under the Spanish presidency of the European Union. The conference was characterized by a high level of speakers and personalities present. The final figure of those attending was more than 350 participants, from over 30 countries, emphasizing the interest in this area of economic development in EU countries.
It was made clear during the conference that the continued availability of raw materials is vital to the future of the minerals industry and to the European economy. Some raw materials have to be imported as there are simply no geological deposits in Europe and so there may be a risk of supply disruptions. Other raw materials are geologically present in Europe, but access to these deposits is becoming increasingly difficult due to competing land use, conservation measures, growing regulatory constraints and, unfortunately, uninformed public opinion. For these reasons, the European Commission launched its communication in 2008: “The Raw Materials Initiative – Meeting our critical needs for growth and jobs”. The minerals industry has warmly welcomed this initiative, and has cooperated very actively with the commission and its working groups in developing the strategy for the achievement of our vital common goals. The interim results of this cooperative work were the focus of the conference. The collective viewpoints of the industry are described in detail in its Madrid Declaration.