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Fig. 1. The team of the Mining Industry Network set up by the EnergieAgentur.NRW, together with the State Minister for Economic Affairs Garrelt Duin. Bild 1. Das Team des Netzwerks Bergbauwirtschaft der EnergieAgentur.NRW mit Landeswirtschaftsminister Garrelt Duin. Photo / Foto: EnergieAgentur.NRW

The future of the NRW mining industry: A new network highlights the way ahead for this sector

Over 100 decision makers and experts from the mining sector came together in Essen on 24 March 2015 for the first meeting held by the new Mining Industry Network. The purpose of this event, “The future of the NRW mining industry”, is aimed at jointly developing economic perspectives following the end of coal mining in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia is supporting this network which will be coordinated by the EnergieAgentur.NRW.

“The mining industry in North Rhine-Westphalia is the technology world leader. Its first-class know-how is also in demand internationally with the decline of domestic coal mining”, said Garrelt Duin, the Minister for Economic Affairs, during his keynote speech at the meeting. “The Mining Industry Network will support companies in developing new business areas and international markets, for example in the fields of mining technology, mine gas utilisation or the rehabilitation of mining damage and contaminated former mining sites. The aim now is to bundle the in-depth experience of these NRW companies in order to enhance their national and international business opportunities.”

Dr.-Ing. Eckehard Büscher of the EnergieAgentur.NRW, head of the Mining Industry Network and another newly-formed network, the Energy Industry Network, explained the principle: “Additional sales markets and workplaces in North Rhine-Westphalia will be secured on the basis of this close cooperation with partners such as NRW.International, VDMA Mining and other actors within the supplier industry.

This Mining Industry Network reflects the tradition of support provided by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in NRW for the mining supplier industry over the past 15 years. It is intended to mitigate the consequences of capacity adjustments – in particular in domestic coal mining – for the overall industry.”

Plans are being drawn up to forge partnerships with countries rich in raw materials, such as Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Peru and Chile, thus providing opportunities for German suppliers, including the service industry, in the raw materials sector.