Between May 23rd and May 25th 2022, EIT RawMaterials, the world’s largest consortium in the raw materials sector, hosted the 4th RawMaterials Summit in Berlin. The event was held in BCC (Berlin Congress Centre) and supported by ERMA (The European Raw Materials Alliance).
A number of well-know organisations sent their representatives to the Summit : the European Aluminium, the European Federation of Geologists (EFG), Euromines, Eurometaux, Neo Performance Materials, GENVIA, Solar Power Europe, Blue Solutions, etc. Radoslav Vukas, member of the EFG’s Panel of Experts on Minerals, attended the event on behalf of the European Federation of Geologists.
Speakers from the European Commission and EU Parliament, the United Nations Economic Commission, NGOs, mining and recycling industries, education and research fields, and investment sectors were all conveyed to discuss the urgent needs of the raw materials sector.
During the panel discussions, speakers presented in a very illustrative way the situation and trends in the raw materials sector, both locally and globally, such as: Raw Materials to Power the Green Transition; Implications on EU Industry from the Current Constraints of Magnesium Supply; Building European Rare Earth and Permanent Magnets Value Chain; How can we Maximise on the Opportunities of Circularity in Raw Materials?; etc.
In fact, both the war in Ukraine and the announcement of the REPowerEU plan have brought the raw materials crisis which Europe is facing on the front line. Across the entire Summit, the need to grow mining in Europe has been highlighted. Through speakers’ presentations, a great amount of optimism has been shown with regards to current endeavours to increase energy efficiencies across the different fields of the raw material’s sector (i.e. mining, exploration, manufacturing, recycling, etc.). Moreover, it was underlined how this progress is crucial to ensuring a reliable and sustainable supply of raw materials for Europe. Likewise, it was shown that although the industry is progressively shifting towards more circular business models, there are still various blockages to the successful recycling of materials as well as mining regulatory hurdles. In the same way, though there has been great progress in innovation and education, there are still obstacles halting Europe’s progress, including administrative bottlenecks.
In his open letter to the Raw Materials Community, Bernd Schäfer, CEO and Managing Director of the EIT RawMaterials, calls on stakeholders to act urgently, otherwise supply chain disruptions will be aggravated. He adds that investments in the industry must be raised and partnerships diversifying Europe’s raw materials’ supply must be developed.
Those who are interested in reading the full summary on the highlights of the Summit may go here: Raw Materials Summit Report.