The last MINATURA2020 consortium meeting took place in Brussels on the 10th January 2018. The project that is due to end by in the 31st of January is defining a very important concept for European mineral raw materials: the establishment of MDoPI – Mineral Deposits of Public Important – and how to map and protect them, so mineral raw materials can be used tomorrow.
The one-day conference that gathered the project partners, the Advisory Board members and also representatives from EASME, started with a welcome statement and an overview of the agenda. To these, then followed the presentation of the work and conclusions of 6 work packages of the MINATURA2020 project:
- WP1 – Land use assessment
- WP2 – Development of a harmonised mapping framework
- WP3 – Regulatory framework
- WP4 – Demonstration and pilot-testing of developed methodology at case study level
- WP5 – Stakeholder involvement on mineral deposits of public importance
- WP6 – Dissemination
After everyone was updated on the work developed through all the MINATURA2020 project, a panel discussion was held with some of the participants. The discussions of this panel worked around (1) the access to land and how to balance industries and authorities’ interests, (2) the identification of MDoPI from the Geological Surveys point of view and (3) tools and models in R&D, among other pressing themes related to the definition and real application of the MDoPI concept developed by the MINATURA 2020 consortium.
The meeting ended with some final remarks, conclusions and prospects of what was done in the project and what are the next steps in the applicability of the MDoPI concept.
Developing a mechanism to protect and safeguard mineral deposits in Europe proved to be a challeging task due to the many divergences present through all European countries and to challenges in land-use planning. However, the MINATURA 2020 project was able to create a definition and establish different sets of criteria that can be applied by different countries to protect their mineral deposits for future use.
In the end, MINATURA 2020 was a successful project, that opened the way to the safeguard and protection of such an important commodity for our daily lives, as minerals are!