Mining in the European Arctic

Kim van Dam, Annette Scheepstra, Johan Gille, Adam Stępień, Timo Koivurova

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterProfessional

Abstract

The European Arctic is currently experiencing an upsurge in mining activities, but future developments will be highly sensitive to mineral price fluctuations. The EU is a major consumer and importer of Arctic raw materials. As the EU is concerned about the security of supply, it encourages domestic mineral extraction, among others, via its Raw Materials Initiative.
Both Arctic communities and industry call for enhanced information flows, as well as improved and more inclusive decision-making frameworks. It is recommended that the EU should adopt a more integrated and transparent view and clearly articulate its interests related to mining in the European Arctic. Building trust and facilitating mechanisms to enhance dialogue with the residents of the North, including indigenous peoples, is an important element of such integration. Information platforms may be based, for example,
on INSPIRE infrastructure for spatial information in Europe (designed to contribute to environmental decision-making)
or the outcomes of projects like Promine (which mapped European mineral resources). The EU could also support the collection and sharing of mining data and knowledge, for example via the Horizon 2020 programme or the European
Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials.
The EU regulatory framework could better contribute to harmonising environmental, economic and social assessments, paying special attention to local social issues and indigenous rights. This could be partly done within the current reform of the EU environmental impact assessment legislation. The EU, as a major global actor, can also influence international governance, standard-setting and co-operation to facilitate increased responsibility in mining activities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStrategic assessment of development of the Arctic
PublisherEuropean Union
Pages87-100
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2014

Keywords

  • Arctic EU assessment mining

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