Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
13.1-2 European Raw Materials
Wednesday, 22/Sept/2021:
4:15pm - 5:45pm

Session Chair: Antje Wittenberg, BGR
Session Chair: Henrike Sievers, BGR

Session Abstract

Raw Materials are crucial components of a resilient and sustainable economy and society. A sustainable supply of primary raw materials needs accessible mineral deposits and efficiently productive mines. Competing land-use issues, social and environmental challenges, declining ore grades, resource nationalism are just a few aspects, which seems to make it increasingly challenging to secure supplies. The realisation of a low-carbon society and new technologies – especially in the light of the "European Green Deal” – change future raw material needs and set a focus in so-called critical raw materials.Although Europe has a long history in mining, it is still widely underexplored in particular with modern exploration methods. A good understanding of mineral systems, mining sites and remaining resources of historical sites will stay of utmost importance.This session thus invites contributions focussing on European mineral deposits and exploration and mining activities that indicate a socio-economic importance to the German / European society in particular.

4:15pm - 4:45pm

The family of battery metals found in European seabed mineral deposits: The MINDeSEA perspective

Javier Gonzalez1, Teresa Medialdea1, Henrik Schiellerup2, Irene Zananiri3, Pedro Ferreira4, Luis Somoza1, Xavier Monteys5, Trevor Alcorn5, Egidio Marino1, Ana Lobato1, Thomas Kuhn6, Johan Nyberg7, Vitor Magalhaes8, Rosario Lunar9, Boris Malyuk10, James Hein11, Georgy Cherkashov12

1Marine Geology, Geological Survey of Spain (IGME) C/ Ríos Rosas 23, 28003 Madrid, Spain; 2Geological Survey of Norway (NGU); 3Hellenic Survey of Geological and Mineral Exploration (HSGME). Greece; 4National Laboratory of Energy and Geology (LNEG). Portugal; 5Geological Survey Ireland (GSI); 6Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR). Germany; 7Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU); 8Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA); 9Geosciences Institute (IGEO). Spain; 10SRDE “GeoInform of Ukraine” (GIU); 11S. Geological Survey (USGS). USA; 12Institute for Geology and Mineral Resources of the Ocean (VNIIOkeangeologia). Russia

Covering 15,000,000 km2, the pan-European seas represent a promising new frontier for the exploration of mineral resources. The GeoERA-MINDeSEA consortium, a cooperative network of 12 Geological Surveys and Marine Institutes, is facing this exploration challenge. 688 seabed mineral occurrences are described in the MINDeSEA database, GIS cartographies and reports, containing valuable information on geology, metallogeny, critical raw materials prospectivity and mineral potential. Five types of mineral deposits are investigated, including seafloor massive sulphides, ferromanganese crusts, phosphorites, polymetallic nodules and placers. Many of the deposits exhibit a polymetallic nature that include one or more battery metals such as cobalt, lithium, manganese, tellurium, nickel, rare earth elements, copper, and other strategic and critical metals. These deposits are being explored using cutting-edge technologies both onboard ship and at labs, as well as in seabed mineral occurrences under the jurisdiction of European coastal states, all of which may provide an alternative sustainable resource to land-based mineral deposits. Maps on the seafloor mineral occurrences and their metallogeny for energy-critical elements are being produced for the first time to support European climate actions and growth strategies. An enormous challenge in terms of research, technological innovation, environmental protection, spatial planning and social license is facing the European and international research and sustainable development plans. MINDeSEA will identify areas for sustainable development and information to support decision-making on management and Marine Spatial Planning in pan-European seas as part of its core actions.

The dedicated website ( and Social Media ( provide more detailed information about the project MINDeSEA.

4:45pm - 5:00pm

Re-mining as remediation method for critical metals (Be and W) in historical skarn tailings

Lina Hällström

Luleå University Of Technology, Sweden

Critical metals (CM) are important to develop a sustainable society in the EU. Today, more than 80% of most CM are imported and EU is striving for a higher internal production to reach the Green Deal. Historical tailings can be a source of CM due to high concentrations left in the waste. The possibility to re-mine Be and W from skarn tailings was studied in a research project between 2016-2021. The volume of the waste was low, the CM-concentrations were lower than in the primary ore, and the tailings has been physically stratified during deposition. Geochemical processes has partly relocated Be and W to secondary minerals, and altered the surface properties of their primary minerals. However, the project showed that if the environmental and social aspects are considered, re-mining can be beneficial for the tailings. Thus, the mine drainage contained high concentrations of Be, which caused adverse impact on ecosystems downstream the repository. Weathering of the tailings will continue for 100 of years, which stress the need for remediation. Traditional techniques such as cover and water-saturation are not suitable to use. Re-mining could instead be implemented to decrease the environmental impact. Future studies should develop extraction methods that targets both primary and secondary minerals enriched in CM to generate environmentally safe waste, and the extracted product could support the internal production of CM. Moreover, taking responsibility for contaminated tailings could increase the social license towards mining, which is an important factor to increase the metal production in the EU.

5:00pm - 5:15pm

Towards a harmonised inventory for European mineral resources

Kari Aasly1, Mark Simoni1, Pasi Eilu2, Lisbeth Flindt-Jørgensen3

1Geological Survey of Norway, Norway; 2Geological Survey of Finland, Finland; 3Geological Survey of Denmark, Denmark

With the global increase in raw material demand there is a need for harmonized supporting tools for sustainable resource management in Europe. Europe needs to assess their resource potential, but the European countries do not have a common tool to aggregate information for continent-wide resource inventories. The United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) is a system that may be used for this purpose.

One of the specific tasks in the MINTELL4EU project under the GeoERA programme has been to test if the European geological surveys will be able to use UNFC as a tool to evaluate a country’s known and potential resources across variable levels of knowledge. The project has also tested if the application of UNFC can provide better harmonization of mineral resource data nationally and across Europe.

To gain experience on UNFC, the work in MINTELL4EU has been based on case studies. Based on the knowledge and lessons learned from the case studies, guidelines and recommendations for further work will be given. The project shows that there are different levels of experience in UNFC among the European geological surveys, and the approach and methods on UNFC varies between the countries. It is clear that there is a need for a more harmonized system and that stricter guidelines on how to do UNFC are required.

Results from the project will be presented.

5:15pm - 5:30pm

UNFC resources reporting code and national mineral resources accounting

Janne Hokka, Pasi Eilu

Geological Survey of Finland, Finland

Government organisations compile mineral resource data for national resource accounting. The information is collected and used in research, planning of mineral exploration, and in decision making on national and EU level mineral policies. The data are a combination of publicly disclosed information from active and non-active projects and historical mineral inventories, at extremely variable degree of data density. The databases contain both commercially viable resources and commodity endowments without consideration of economic viability in foreseeable future. Only the former can be reported according to current industrial standards as required by stock exchanges. A harmonised way to describe all resource data is the United Nations Framework Classification (UNFC) resources reporting code which reflects the geological uncertainty and the different project maturity levels. The UNFC code allows also for resource classes where the data density is low and no technical, environmental, social nor economic viability are assessed.

To achieve a coherent and consistent resource aggregation within and across countries, to support the activities to secure future sustainable raw material supply and sustainable resource management, it is necessary that: 1) the UNFC classification is used in systematic and transparent way within all countries, and 2) there is a common agreement on principles of how to move forward in national-level aggregations in systematic and harmonized way. We see that the key issues are in dealing with data gaps and inconsistent application of the UNFC code. We aim to provide solutions in various cases with data gaps, and where we have seen non-consistency appearing.

5:30pm - 5:45pm

Collecting, sharing, and visualising harmonised data on European raw materials occurrences and mines – success or failure?

Špela Kumelj1, Lisbeth Flindt Jørgensen2, Frands Schjøth2, Andrej Vihtelič1, Blaž Bahar1, Katarina Hribernik1

1Geological Survey of Slovenia, Slovenia; 2Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Denmark

Easy web access to useful and reliable mineral information for the whole of Europe is the main objective of the extension of the M4EU base in the GeoERA project Mineral Intelligence for Europe (MINTELL4EU). The foundation has been laid by previous projects such as Minerals4EU, ProSUM, SCRREEN, EuRare, ORAMA, and new ones have been added in collaboration with ongoing projects such as RESEERVE. Europe's geological survey organizations play an important role as they are the main contributors in collecting and storing information on raw materials at national or regional level and making it available to end users as policy and decision makers. The information includes, among other things, the location of individual mineral deposits (occurrences) and mines, etc., which are stored in a central database, now called MIN4EU. However, national datasets are typically organized differently from country to country, based on different geological traditions and legal obligations. Our goal was to maximize harmonization, achieve higher quality of collected data, achieve higher interoperability by following the INSPIRE directive, include data from a larger number of countries, and visualize these data on the European Geological Data Infrastructure (EGDI) in a harmonized, sometimes targeted way.

The methods for collecting (harvesting) data and several error detections tools to help data providers check the status of their national data reported in MIN4EU DB will be discussed. Examples of successful and less successful harmonized visualizations, data sharing with other information systems and future challenges are also presented.