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Raw Material Potential from Historic Mine Sites

The raw materials required by the European industry, especially metallic raw materials, are largely imported into the EU. Thus, Europe’s economic and social wellbeing relies on supplies from international sources and depends on secure and sustainable supply chains. This becomes especially vital when it comes to critical raw material (CRM) and base metals, needed in future-proved technologies to ensure the envisaged energy transition. However, Europe has a long lasting mining history. Metal ore deposits have been mined for hundreds of years. Some of these old mining sites still contain ore and large volumes of mine wastes, respectively. Originally being mined for their base metals content, many of these deposits never have been analyzed for CRM. Such historic mine sites could serve as future raw materials sources. Thus, they have the potential to feed into Europe’s demand of raw materials. Within the FRAME project, geological surveys from across Europe identify historic mine sites, collect information from existing national databases, analyze new samples and compose case studies. The project will include not only the main commodities of the deposits examined, but also focus on CRM contained in the ore, and in the residues from the mining or beneficiation processes. The project will feed site-specific data of ore deposits and mine wastes with their associated CRM potential into the pan-European knowledge base on raw materials: the GeoERA Information Platform. As part of GeoERA ( FRAME has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 731166.


Henrike Sievers (1), Petr Rambousek (2), Monica Serra (3), Antje Wittenberg (1) & Daniel Oliveira (4)
Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR), Hannover, Germany (1);Česká geologická služba, prac. Geologická 6, Praha–Barrandov, Czech Republic (2);ISPRA - Dipartimento per il Servizio Geologico d'Italia, Roma, Italy (3);Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR), Hannover, Germany (1);Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia, Amadora, Portugal (4)
GeoUtrecht 2020