Accessibility and sustainability of resources are key to raw materials supply in the 21st century. The industry has made great strides to improve both. However, continuous efforts are required to achieve a base load supply for Europe’s industry and economy and to develop access to new and critical raw materials as our technologies and services progress to improve the standard of living around the world.
We have had many successes but there are still a number of issues to be resolved for access to resources from the European continent with respect to public acceptance. Citizens need to remember that we need raw materials extraction in addition to our circular economy efforts. They also need to trust both the reliability of permitting as an administrative and not a political process, and the capacity and know-how of all sides to choose the best technological, environmental and socially acceptable options. The review of the BAT document on the management of waste from the extractive industry is a good example of such work. Therefore compliance issues, be they in Health & Safety or environmental matters are always high on the agenda of the sector.
There are also issues to be addressed with regard to our sourcing raw materials from around the globe and our future engagement in an open and constructive and even more successful cooperation with other countries. Some of our European mining companies are paving the way to such successful cooperation as do other companies when investing in Europe. Such good examples need to be followed since Europe is not an island. Our current projects with Canada and Latin America are important steps in this process.
I would like to welcome all participants to a constructive dialogue on the future of Europe’s industry in all its facets under the Bulgarian Presidency.