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Mining, metals and minerals

Non-energy extractive industries

Mineral rock © Roman Milert

Minerals extracted from either the earth surface or deeper down the earth are essential raw materials for modern society, contributing significantly to its social and technological progress. They are used to produce infrastructure such as roads, homes, schools and hospitals and many industrial and consumer products such as cars, computers, medicines, and household appliances.

The mining and quarrying industry which extracts these minerals therefore plays an important role in the industrial development of the European Union, providing both jobs and value added to its economy. In 2006 the non-energy extractive industry within the EU generated a turnover of about €45 billion and provided about 295,000 jobs.

Downstream users such as the construction, chemicals, automotive, aerospace, machinery and equipment sectors all depend on raw materials, providing a total value added of about €1.324 billion and employment for some 30 million people.

The non-energy extractive industry is usually divided in three main sub-sectors, depending on the different physical and chemical characteristics of the minerals produced and, in particular, on their uses and on the downstream industries they supply:

  1. Construction minerals
  1. Industrial minerals
  1. Metallic minerals

The industry demonstrated its commitment to sustainable development by developing, and the subsequent reporting on Sustainable Development Indicators. The non-energy extractive industry is regulated at both European and national level.

 

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