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New raw materials from old mines? – Examples from historic mining sites in Europe

Europe is largely dependent on raw materials imports and has to supply its needs, especially of critical raw materials, from international sources. Nevertheless, Europe also has a long lasting mining history and some deposits have been mined continuously even for hundreds of years. Within the GeoERA the project FRAME investigates traditional mining sites and their raw material potential. In addition to the main commodities of these historic deposits, the project focuses on strategic raw materials (SRM) such as e.g. high-tech metals extracted as by-products and critical raw materials of the EU actual list. These raw materials might be contained in the ore or in residues from the nowadays abandoned mining and beneficiation activities. The project aims at improving knowledge regarding the potential of historic mine sites and contributes to improving pan-European geological information on historic mine sites. Case studies investigate specific deposits for their raw material potential. Different sources of data like national databases, literature, previous projects and expert information by the project partners were used to review and collect site-specific data on historic mine sites and their potential for SRM. Fieldwork and sampling added new data. The project will feed site-specific data of ore deposits and mine wastes with CRM potential into the pan-European knowledge base on raw materials: the GeoERA Information Platform. This project is part of FRAME, with is part of the GeoERA project ( co-funded through the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 731166.


Henrike Sievers
BGR, Germany
GeoKarlsruhe 2021