Mineral Resources in 2009
It seems that each year is shorter and shorter, and although this is not really the case, another year has already passed and we have released already the second edition of the bulletin MINERAL RESOURCES. It is also available on http://www.geo-zs.si.
Last year was strongly marked by the continued economic crisis in Slovenia, the European Union and the world, which is also evident in the substantial decrease in production of mineral resources (considering the years of conjuncture). In Slovenia, the drop was nearly 30 % compared to 2007. Regarding the structure of mineral resources production in Slovenia, this points to the difficult state of the construction business, which we can follow in the media practically on a daily basis. The lasting trend of the previous year is still continuing and we are not yet seeing much recovery.
The field of mineral resources has also been marked in the past year by a lively debate regarding changes and additions to mining legislation, which came to a climax in July 2010 with the ratification of the Mining Act (ZRud-1). The law became effective in August, and will come into force as of 1 January 2011.
At the European Union level, the past year was a year of intensive work for two working groups (group I – critical mineral resources; group II – best practice transmission in the area of forming policies/ directions, furthering spatial planning, procedures for issuing permits and the exchange of geological expertise). The working groups were organised within the Raw Materials Supply Group – RMSG. In July 2010 they published their reports, which can be found on the website of the Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/raw-materials/critical/index_en.htm and http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/raw-materials/sustainable-supply/index_en.htm.
Some good news from the last year is absolutely the increased number of active European projects in the field of mineral resources. Some Slovene researchers and experts are also participating as partners in some of these. We will give a report on one of these projects in this issue.
I hope and expect that next years there will be a more optimistic outlook on the future, primarily on the basis of renewed economic momentum, as well as faster societal development.
In closing, I wish to thank my colleagues, the contributing authors, for their part in the release of this bulletin and I invite the readers to take it in their hands, read it and send the editors their comments, whether complimentary or critical.
Ljubljana, August 2010
Dr. Slavko V. Šolar, editor