Mineral Resources in 2018
Europe is striving to achieve greater self-sufficiency in the field of mineral resources while also emphasizing the necessity to minimize negative impacts mineral exploitation can have on the environment. The mineral resources industry has been historically associated with environmental issues; however with knowledge, implementation of the latest technological improvements, and higher environmental standards both goals can be achieved. Sustainable development in mineral resources is now the norm and has been achieved as a result of long term development, largely through various projects featuring international scientific collaboration.
There are many regions in Europe where any exploration and exploitation of mineral resources are hindered by legislative obstacles. These can be overcome with inter sectoral and multidisciplinary dialogue and exchange of knowledge. Collaboration of the scientific community with governmental stakeholders is crucial and is happening at all levels.
Slovenia with its modern and sophisticated system of “Mining registry book” is prepared for the new developments in exploration of mineral resources. We were in the first group of European countries to develop a modern knowledge base of mineral resources and share it on the publicly accessible web-based applications developed in projects such as Minerals4EU and others. Currently Slovenian partners are through various projects of EIT Raw materials helping to spread this knowledge in the region of South East Europe. The Geological survey of Slovenia with Slovenian national building and civil engineering institute and University of Zagreb established Regional Center Adria with the intent to operate as a regional EIT Raw Materials knowledge, information and educational hub for this region.
Today exploration focuses on deposits that have been even in the recent past regarded as uneconomical to extract due to lower grades and/or greater depths of the ore bodies, or because they are secondary resources. Slovenia is increasingly active in the field of secondary resources which is also one of the pillars of smart specialization strategy of the country. There is a lot of potential in exploration of buried and blind deposits at greater depths in Slovenia. Well coordinated in-depth and extensive research of deeper crustal layers is utterly needed and hopefully the need for such focused geological investigations will soon be recognized also in our county.
The issues mentioned here and much more will be discussed during the 5th Slovenian geological congress to be held in Velenje between October 3rd and 5th 2018. The congress aims to bring together geoscientists, businessmen and governmental stakeholders. We expect the outcome of the congress will reconfirm willingness and commitment to build our development on knowledge and in full appreciation of our environment. Welcome to Velenje.
Ljubljana, October 2018
Dr. Miloš Bavec, Director GeoZS