ERA-MIN Roadmap

Roadmap for research priorities

ERA-MIN will propose a research roadmap in November 2013 on the major scientific and technical challenges that should be addressed by specific research in the five to ten coming years. This roadmap will be fed by the outcomes of five working groups that were created in February 2012, which gather about 150 experts from industry, academia, research centres, and funding agencies.

The ERA-MIN Roadmap is now available here.

Working group 1: Developing new innovative technologies and solutions for sustainable primary resources supply
This working group covers issues related to exploration, mining/quarrying, mineral processing, metallurgy, environmental impact, and along-the-value-chain issues.

Working group 2: Developing new innovative technologies and solutions for sustainable secondary resources supply
This working group covers issues related to product and the waste return logistics for closing the end-of-life materials loop, dismantling, separation and recovery technologies, processing technologies for metals and minerals extraction from waste streams, mining of historical landfills (industrial and/or urban waste), product design for recycling.

Working group 3: Developing new innovative technologies and solutions for the substitution of critical materials
This working group covers issues related to the substitution of critical elements in existing materials by more abundant ones, the use of novel materials with no or reduced use of critical elements, and technologies for increasing material efficiency in products and production. The working group focuses on materials for green energy technologies, materials under extreme conditions, electronics and medical devices, as well as critical materials in bulk applications and technologies, and technologies and research infrastructure.

Working group 4: Public policy support for primary, secondary resources and material, and mineral intelligence
This working group covers issues related to the methodology of mineral criticality assessment, the life cycle assessment data as a public service (assessment of the environmental impact of production processes used to produce the same metal or mineral using different exploitation and mineral processing technologies), the measurement of land use competition, the public understanding and acceptance of mineral resources related issues, the development of an EU minerals intelligence capacity in close connection with industry. Mineral intelligence should comprise analysis and description of the industrial supply, the global production and trade of minerals and metals, the market forces technology shifts and regulatory evolutions that underpin long-term trends and contribute to trade distortion, and the mining companies strategies (regions of interest, exploration and mining goals and methods, as well as market factors such as mergers and acquisitions.)

Working group 5: Cooperation, public education and teaching
This working group covers issues related to teaching and interaction with industry. 1) teaching: in high school (information to help improve the public perception of the minerals industry), tertiary education (assure teaching of the entire raw-materials cycle and define basic levels of education and minimum standards in courses in all related fields), and training programs (high-level short courses for graduates and professionals from both academia and industry; broad-spectrum courses on the entire raw-materials cycle; courses on raw materials for non-specialists). 2) Interaction with industry: to identify specific needs of industry in the domain of research and education and to encourage exchanges between universities, geological surveys and other government agencies throughout Europe and between these agencies and industry.