From 22-24 September, more than 130 quarries and plants in 27 countries opened their doors welcoming around 30.000 children and adults to celebrate European Minerals Day and have the rare opportunity to explore the world of minerals and experience how they are sustainable extracted.
Typical activities include school visits, guided tours, workshops, exhibitions, biodiversity projects, and many more have been organised. Slavko Solar, EuroGeoSurveys Secretary General stated during the launch of the European Minerals Day event: “These events convinced me that mine or quarry relationships with local community are crucial to obtain, and moreover maintain the social licence to operate. This, next to other communication activities that present mine operation , transparently opens the doors to public awareness, acceptance and finally trust as wishfully written in the EU Document entitled EIP Strategic Implementation Plan.”
The 2017 European Minerals Day Launch took place on 21 and 22 September, hosted under the Estonian EU Presidency, kindly hosted by Nordkalk and Kunda Nordic Tsement at their operations in Kurevere and Kunda. It welcomed representatives from the European Commission, Estonian government, partnering sectors, academia, NGOs, media and local administrations. The balanced and insightful presentations by the guest speakers was complemented by visits of both quarry operations, the cement plant and port in Kunda, a blasting in Kurevere and introduction to the local biodiversity projects on birds and orchids.
The sector is important to the EU jobs and growth agenda as it directly employs around 1 million people across 30,000 active mines, quarries and plants in Europe, and has an annual turnover of more than €150 billion. The minerals sector forms an integral part of the European value chain with 70% of EU manufacturing depending on the minerals, metals and raw materials mined. “We need to keep jobs, growth, investment and innovation in Europe”, commented Peter Handley from DG Growth, European Commission, “The Commission’s recent Communication on a renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy recognises the essential role of raw materials for the EU industrial value chain, and their contribution to a low carbon economy. European Minerals Day plays an invaluable role in enhancing public awareness, acceptance and trust and promoting the sector’s sustainable practices and value to society.”
The Launch event told the story of the minerals industry’s contribution to sustainable regions and well-being of the local communities, while making the link to the EU Industrial Policy Strategy and EU Action Plan for People, Nature and the Economy.
For further information, please visit the website: http://www.mineralsday.eu/events/map/ or follow @MineralsDay on Twitter and Facebook.
Credits pictures: IMA-Europe / UEPG European Aggregates Associations