Mining and the global raw materials industry as a whole are now more than ever a matter of public concern. While supplies of raw materials should be secure, affordable and reliable, these essential resources also have to be extracted, transported and made available in a sustainable way. For Germany, which is now to a large degree dependent on imports of energy resources, metals and critical raw materials, this means having to think very seriously about how supplies can be maintained, especially in view of growing international competition. Resource networks such as those referred-to in this edition of Mining Report Glückauf can help out here on all kinds of levels.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) acts as a global standard for effective network and good-governance structures in the raw materials sector and helps to raise issues in connection with energy consumption and the climate impact of raw materials projects under way in many of its 55 member states. The German Mining Network (GMN), which was set up in 2016, provides German companies at home and abroad with rapid and straightforward access to information, points of contact and industrial connections in the relevant commodities markets. The mid-sized German mining suppliers industry uses its traditionally close-knit ties to share views and ideas on common themes and in this way better to defend its mutual interests towards third parties. It has other aims too, such as engaging in collaborative ventures on the international market, making provisions for socially relevant themes as part of the corporate decision making process and taking an ecological, social and ethical stance toward business-related activities.
Sustainability in raw materials production and supply also means communicating the relevant material through teaching and research. The Society of Mining Professors (SOMP) promotes international exchange at academic level in the field of mining engineering and technology and supports its members in the transfer of research, education and other cooperative activities.
Over the last ten years the German Government has concluded agreements with various countries in order to secure the supplies of raw materials that the country needs. Ten years after the signing of the German-Mongolian raw materials agreement we report on the project’s development.
Other topics covered in this issue include the need for a reform of the Federal Mining Act, the challenges that lower air contamination thresholds have brought for workplace dust sampling and the continued operation of a landfill facility at a former opencast lignite mine.
With my best regards
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Essen