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Safeguarding mineral deposits of public importance by linking land use planning to national mineral policies

Acronym: 
SAFEMIN
Abstract / executive summary: 

Access to mineral raw materials is crucial for the economies and well-being of the European society. The second pillar of the European Commission’s Raw Materials Initiative calls for wider exploration and sustainable extraction of the European Union (EU)’s own mineral resources. Europe´s mineral potential is under-explored and needs further investments. Likewise Europe’s discovered and undiscovered non-energy mineral deposits, especially those areas holding mineral deposits of public importance (MDoPIs), need special protection and safeguarding against sterilization. The goal of SAFEMIN is to foster the safeguarding of such deposits (and the surrounding surface areas holding them) by their inclusion in land use planning instruments and national mineral policies.

National Mineral Policies (NMPs) are political frameworks which should create awareness of the societal needs for minerals, the need of a sustainable supply and should establish guiding principles so that the mineral resources in a national territory can be discovered and remain available for their best use. Land use planning policies and marine spatial plans are essential instruments for the implementation of NMPs. Land use planning (LUP) is an integrative process, in which different land uses are subject to evaluation where land use planning authorities establish priorities. Where identified, MDoPIs should be evaluated to become a priority.

This Commitment highlights that mining and quarrying may be compatible with other land uses often considered incompatible (e.g. nature conservation) if sustainability requirements are met and if fair balanced assessments take place during the LUP. Extraction activities are a temporary land use which might even be (in some cases) beneficial for the environment if proper reclamation is conducted. Another key message is that areas known to host (or with potential for) MDoPIs are as valuable as other land uses, so they must be taken into account in parity with them.

Coverage of the Action Areas referred to above: 

SAFEMIN’s objectives and activities involve regular meetings and workshops to exchange on good practices and discuss a harmonized policy framework that enables the integration of the concept of mineral deposits of public importance and mineral safeguarding areas into national and regional mineral policy and land use planning policies. Workshops will also serve to discuss how best to link land use planning and national mineral policies. SAFEMIN will source the MDoPI concept from the advances in the Minatura2020 project and will discuss with public authorities (land use planning authorities, other public authorities), industry representatives and other stakeholders which are the most effective instruments and approaches to sucesfully include it in land use plans in fair and equal terms with other land uses.

Objectives of the commitment: 

The overall objective of SAFEMIN is to improve the safeguarding of non-energy mineral deposits of public importance (MDoPIs) by means of their integration in national and regional land use planning and mineral policies. The extraction of such mineral resources may or may not take place in a near future; however, accessibility to the area holding them should remain unimpeded, or at least, extraction should be considered before any form of sterilising development can go ahead. A specific objective of the Commitment is to encourage European countries to develop and include in their national mineral policies (or mineral resource strategies) land use plans regulating land uses and mineral resources. SAFEMIN will review and seek harmonization of mineral planning policies in order to achieve a balanced land use planning in which MDoPIs are treated in parity with other land uses.

Description of the activities: 

SAFEMIN supports and enhances the work developed within the MINATURA2020 project which seeks to bring forward the concept of MDoPI and their implementation in land use planning processes for non-energy minerals. The consortium members are actively involved in the development of concepts, methodologies and instruments for this, and SAFEMIN ensures a continuation and an upgrade of the knowledge collected with the MINATURA2020 project.

The planned activities involve the implementation of pan-european, national and regional workshops for the exchange and analysis of how the areas with (or with potential for) MDoPI are integrated in national mineral and land use planning (LUP) policies in different European countries and at all levels of implementation (national, regional, local). Some of these workshops have already taken place (e.g. pan-european workshop in Cardiff in March 2016) or are planned to take place (e.g. Scandinavian workshop in Sweden, September 2016).

Participants at meetings and workshops are expected to be EC representants, experts, urban development, energy and other land use planning authorities, mining authorities, industry representatives, and the civil society. Some worskhops will be targeted to public authorities in order to promote cooperation between them.

Workshops will give room to analyse good examples of LUP policies and case studies will be investigated via practical exercises. Such exercises will develop and test concepts and instruments that enable the safeguarding of areas with valuable mineral deposits (or potential for discovery). Some workshops will discuss conceptual approaches, methodologies and recommendations of how best to link LUP policies and national mineral policies while others will serve testing purposes. The latter will be based on exercises using digital geological and land use INSPIRE-compliant databases. If data is available, first experiences with 3D spatial planning (e.g. ore body depth) will be conducted. In the frame of Minatura2020 competent institutions collaborated on the 2D modelling of suitable excavation zones using the QUICKScan software. For SAFEMIN, software known to be useful for 2D analysis, e.g. QUICKScan, will be tested to evaluate if it works properly and/or how it can be adapted for 3D spatial analysis so as to identify areas with no or minimal conflict for the safeguarding of mineral resources.

SAFEMIN will maintain a close collaboration with other relevant projects in the field funded by Horizon 2020 in support of the EIP on Raw Materials such as MINATURA2020 (coordinated by MinPol), MICA (Minerals Intelligence Capacity Analysis), MIN-Guide (policy benchmarking of relevant policy and legislation in Europe), MINLEX (permitting study in the EU28), INTMET (innovative metallurgical system to benefit efficiently polymetallic, complex and low grade ores and concentrates), EURare (Sustainable exploitation scheme for Europe's Rare Earth ore deposits). For instance, the MINLEX project (coordinated by MinPol) is a logical connection to SAFEMIN as the advancement towards the integration of the MDoPIs into land use planning will result in simpler permitting procedures. Finalised relevant H2020 projects will also be considered (e.g. Minerals4EU, ProMine, SARMa, EuroGeoSource).

SAFEMIN will be supervised by a pan-european Steering Committee of experts. SAFEMIN will reinforce and expand the team engaged in the Advisory Board of MINATURA2020 which includes representatives from Finland, Sweden, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Spain, Ireland, Croatia, Czech Republic.

Description of the expected impacts: 

SAFEMIN will help achieving the objectives of the EU Raw Materials Initiative and the EIP on Raw Materials, particularly in terms of improving conditions of access to land with relevance for non-energy minerals extraction. It will disseminate and foster the inclusion of mineral deposits of public importance and mineral potential areas on national mineral and land use planning policies. It is expected that the ongoing work of all partners involved will reinforce the importance of the EU mineral resources for its society and the possible compatibility of extraction areas with other land uses via land use planning processes and sustainable extraction. The actions of SAFEMIN will contribute to bringing mineral resources in parity with other competing land uses.

It is expected that transparent methodologies to identify MdoPIs will be developed for existing or potential mineral resources, allowing incentives and geological evidence to the public authorities for their integration into land use planning plans and national mineral policies. Therefore it is expected that SAFEMIN will facilitate access to land for exploration, contribute to a more efficient permitting procedure and contribute towards making European prospective areas more attractive for investors (mining and quarrying, onshore and offshore).

It is expected that SAFEMIN will promote local capacity building and cooperation of public authorities in charge of minerals extraction and land-use planning as well of other involved authorities. It will also enhance awareness of the importance of European mineral deposits for different authorities. Ultimately, it is expected that SAFEMIN will contribute to the promotion of investments into the minerals sector and increase the sustainable supply from European sources.

Expected innovation outcomes: 
New technologies
Societal innovation
Other
Comments: 

Expected innovation outcomes include: i) dialogue, broad dissemination and uptake by land-use planning authorities of concepts associated with the safeguarding of areas containing (or with potential for) non-energy mineral deposits of public importance; ii) transparent digitalized land use planning methodologies based on digital land-use and geological databases, iii) outcomes of tests to involve 2D and 3D spatial analysis of MdoPIs during the land use planning, iv) a strong commitment of national mineral policies (or mineral resource strategies at national or subnational level) to promote the use of land use planning processes as a way to achieve a sustainable mineral supply from European sources, v) an enhancement of the importance and the establishment of a position for MDoPI in land use planning acts as a desired means to improve Europe’s mineral self-supply.

Name of the coordinating organisation: 
MinPol - Agency for International Minerals Policy
Country: 
Austria
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: 

MinPol will: 1) Coordinate all actions within SAFEMIN; 2) Ensure a permanent good communication among all partners, with the European Commission and with external stakeholders; 3) Supervise and guide the organization of meetings and workshops; 4) Delineate framework conditions and recommendations for different best ways of integration of land use planning policies into national mineral policies and their harmonization across European countries

Other partners: 
Name of partner: 
Regione Emilia Romagna, – Soil and Coast Protection and Land Reclamation Service (SCPER)
Country: 
Italy
Entity profile: 
Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: 
Based on its practical experience as a Land Use Planning Authority in the Emilia-Romagna region, SCPER will: 1. Lead the LUP analysis at European scale; 2. Be a test area for the regional mineral policy and LUP integration with the MDoPI concept; 3. Provide guidance and insights into key needs and challenges faced by LUP authorities and into which are the most effective instruments to implement MDoPI and related mineral safeguarding concepts.
Name of partner: 
Alterra, Wageningen University and Research Centre
Country: 
Netherlands
Entity profile: 
Academia
Role within the commitment: 
Alterra will: 1. Provide expertise in the management of digital data and land-use planning software such as QUICKScan; 2. Ensure geological and land-use data used complies with the INSPIRE Directive; 3. Test the QUICKScan tool as it stands and potential adaptations for analysis of 3D data; 4. Lead in the implementation of exercises of forecasting future land use in order to identify potential future land use conflicts and conflict-free areas.
Name of partner: 
La Palma Research Centre for Future Studies (LPRC)
Country: 
Spain
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: 
LPRC will work on the following tasks: 1. Closely collaborate with Alterra in the planning and implementation of workshops for the forecasting of future land use in each case study country (in Europe); 2. Provide insights and guidance stemming from its long experience in foresight studies.
Name of partner: 
Assimagra
Country: 
Portugal
Entity profile: 
Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: 
Assimagra will: 1. Help defining and conceiving land use methodologies, where mineral resources are treated in parity with other natural resources. 2. Guide and transfer to partners the succesful Portuguese experience of on-going close collaboration and engagement of land use planning authorities with other authorities, the university and industry representatives, e.g. via partnerships such as the Portuguese Council of Stakeholders.
Name of partner: 
Mineral and Resource Planning Associates Ltd (MARPA)
Country: 
United Kingdom
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: 
MARPA will work on the following tasks: 1. Coordinate the review and analysis of existing land use planning policies and strategies and how they are integrated into national mineral policies across Europe and in the UK; 2. Work in an onshore or offshore case study about land use planning and one MDoPI in the UK involving public authorities and other stakeholders.
Name of partner: 
European Federation of Geologists (EFG)
Country: 
Europe
Entity profile: 
Other
Other: 
Not-for-profit professional organization (Geologists association)
Role within the commitment: 
The EFG represents 60,000 geoscientists in Europe which play an important role in research bodies, universities, mining companies, governments, not-for- profit/non-governmental organisations and engineering and consultancy companies operational at regional, country, and global levels. For this reason EFG will 1. Engage stakeholders; 2. Disseminate outcomes, and 3. Help in data collection relevant from 24 European countries members of EFG.
Name of partner: 
Geological and Geophysical Institute of Hungary – MFGI
Country: 
Hungary
Entity profile: 
Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: 
MFGI will: 1. Contribute to the concept of the 3D modelling of land use planning, e.g. by providing data from Hungary; 2. Conduct a a multi-sectoral analysis which will be the base of a guidance and a joint vision of the best practice land use policy for EU, country, and regional levels. A Pan-European approach will be done by conducting an online survey; 3. Participate on thematic workshops and international events for dissemination.
Name of partner: 
Geological Survey of Slovenia - GeoZS
Country: 
Slovenia
Entity profile: 
Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: 
GeoZS will: 1. Create a comparative analysis of some good practices of EU Member states as a basis of future EU regulative framework that can assure MDoPI as an equal part of land use planning. 2. Take advantage of 17 years experience as a Public Mining Service in Slovenia linking Mineral Policy with Spatial Planning. GeoZS will use this experience with land use planning authorities to ensure mineral resources are included in land use plans.
Name of partner: 
IMA – Industrial Minerals Association Europe
Country: 
Europe
Entity profile: 
Other
Other: 
Minerals Industry Association
Role within the commitment: 
IMA will work on the following tasks: 1. Provide Insights on various country practices on land use planning and permitting; 2. Liase with Non-Energy Extractive Industries Panel (NEEIP) partners; 3. Support dissemination activities and support national and/or Pan-European events.
Name of partner: 
Mineral and energy economy Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences – MEERI PAS
Country: 
Poland
Entity profile: 
Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: 
MEERI-PAS will: 1. Participate in exercises for the integration of MDoPI with LUP at national, regional and local level (possible test area with use of digital geological and land use databases); 2. Organize and coordinate country workshops; 3. Participate in preparation of recommendations and guidance documents to integrate MDoPI concepts into land use planning policies and documents at various levels.
Name of partner: 
Luleå University of Technology - LTU
Country: 
Sweden
Entity profile: 
Academia
Role within the commitment: 
LTU will work on the following tasks: 1. Provide insights on socio-economic consequences of integrating MDoPI and other mineral safeguarding concepts in land use planning at national/regional and local levels; 2. Provide insights of Swedish mineral policy and land use planning based on examples from land use plans for some of the 145 deposits of National Interest that Sweden has already defined (by May 2015).
Name of partner: 
University College Cork - UCC
Country: 
Ireland
Entity profile: 
Academia
Role within the commitment: 
UCC will: 1. Review existing land use planning policies and strategies and how they are integrated into national mineral policies across European countries; 2. Work in an onshore or offshore case study about land use planning and an MDoPI in Ireland involving public authorities; 3. Provide expertise into recommendations of how best to integrate land use planning policies into national mineral policies across European countries.
Name of partner: 
ISKRIVA - Institute for Development of Local Potentials
Country: 
Slovenia
Entity profile: 
NGOs
Role within the commitment: 
ISKRIVA will work on the following tasks: 1. Develop and coordinate the stakeholder participation process during the workshops and national stakeholder meetings, 2. Communication and mainstreaming activities; 3. Support the development and testing of land use planning support methods, for instance methods such as environmental economics and ecosystem services analysis.
Name of partner: 
Geological Survey of Slovak Republic - SGUDS
Country: 
Slovakia
Entity profile: 
Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: 
SGUDS, based on practical experiences with geological surveys and land use planning process, will: 1. Take active part on the anticipated pan-european, national and regional workshops and meetings for the exchange, review and analysis linked with the MDoPI concept and LUP policies; 2. Provide ad hoc advise, expertise and/or recommendations.
Name of partner: 
University of Belgrade (UoB) – Faculty of Mining and Geology
Country: 
Serbia
Entity profile: 
Academia
Role within the commitment: 
UoB will: 1. Help develop the MDoPI concept for existing or potential mineral resources, allowing further incentives and geological evidence for their integration into land use planning plans and national mineral policies; 2. Help defining and conceiving land use methodologies, where mineral resources are treated in parity with other natural resources; 3. Organize one of the project meetings to show newly discovered potential MDoPI in Serbia.
Name of partner: 
Geological Institute of Romania (IGR)
Country: 
Romania
Entity profile: 
Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: 
IGR will work on the following tasks: 1. Provide geological data in digital format for practical exercises in workshops; 2. Work in the framework conditions and recommendations for integrating land use planning policies into national mineral policies, especially contributing on the feasibility and criteria for Romania and in the harmonization with other eastern European countries.
Existing EU contribution: 
No
Period to implement the commitment: 
Friday, 1 April, 2016 to Tuesday, 31 December, 2019