Current Developments in the UK Mining Industry
Organised by IOM Communications Ltd on behalf of the IOM3 Mining Technology Division
At the turn of the 20th Century Europe led the World in the development of mining and mineral processing technology and was largely self-sufficient in minerals, and exported to outside of the continent. The situation at the start of the 21st Century is very different – Europe is almost totally reliant upon imported raw materials. Indeed, this has been recognised by none other than the EU, who have identified critical raw materials, the so called CRMs on which European industry depends and the list is growing ever longer with a further 6 commodities being added in 2014 to bring the list of CRMs to 20.
The realisation is that Europe is almost totally dependent upon imported minerals – with one country, China, dominating the production of the majority of CRMs. This is forcing a rethink about the desirability of mining in Europe. Indeed the EU, which for so long seemed to regard mining as a redundant occupation that should be eliminated from within European borders, has had a complete reassessment and mining is now seen as part of the solution to increasing European GDP growth and prosperity.
Perhaps nowhere in Europe is this renaissance more evident with actual projects than in the UK, where in the last few years world-class-mining projects have been opened, or are in development. Who could have predicted that at the turn of the 21st Century! The UK is fortunate in having a great geological diversity and this is very evident in the projects that will be discussed at this conference – ranging from coal, through industrial minerals to strategic metals and precious metals. This conference will provide the current definitive state of UK mining.