Mineral Resources in 2011
The editors are wondering if the time between two bulletins is really passing more and more quickly. In front of you is the third biannual edition of the bulletin, be it on paper or on the screen. The bulletin has maintained its basic character (content, extent, format, enclosed map). As has always been the case, this year again you will find rather intriguing reading: production data and other information. The maps have become a regular feature of the bulletin. We are discovering that each time we have a wider and more diverse circle of readers, which is both a pleasure and encouragement.
Unfortunately, we cannot report very much optimistic news about the happenings in 2011 in the field of mineral resources in Slovenia, although there is more optimism in the European Union and elsewhere around the world. Slovenia is still experiencing a severe crisis in construction, and many of the major construction companies are going or have already gone bankrupt. The production of mineral resources for construction is still falling, and has fallen from nearly 23 million tons (2007) to just under 14.5 in 2010, to 11.5 million tons in 2011, which comes to half (last year we reported more than one-third). The production of mineral resources for the construction industry has fallen a little less in the past year, from 2.65 million tons to 2.44. The numbers are concerning and the recovery of the construction sector, as the biggest buyer of mineral resources in Slovenia, is actually not even on the horizon yet.
At the European Union level, activity in the area of providing mineral resources, which has remained one of the central themes of European institutions with a long list of public consultations in the framework of the mineral policies of member states, has continued. The European Commission published its third report in February 2012, »Making Raw Materials available for Europe’s Future Well Being – Proposal for European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials«: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/rawmaterials/files/docs/communication_final_en.pdf . The European Innovation Partnership is intended to decrease reliance on importation, provide alternative materials, decrease environmental effects and increase Europe's advantage in the raw materials sector. The partnership has a technological side (research in mining, alternative materials), a nontechnological side (legislative framework, knowledge base, recycling – green orders) and international cooperation of the EU with the world.
Many member states have already modified their mining / mineral policies or are in the process of forming them. In the area of southeastern Europe, the SARMa project has had quite an influence on these activities. In Slovenia, we are still defining a national mining strategy according to the Mining Act (ZRud-1).
All that you are able to read in this year’s bulletin is only possible through the efforts of my colleagues, the bulletin designers, and of course the authors. Sincere thanks to you all!
And finally, one important statement: the editors, as well as all external co-workers, would ask that you pass on your positive comments, while your critical comments be reserved first for us.
Ljubljana, July 2012
Dr. Slavko V. Šolar, editor