29/09/2020

Finnish Minerals Group joins the European Raw Materials Alliance as a founding member

Access to mineral raw materials is crucial for the European Green Deal.

THE EUROPEAN Commission has launched an industrial strategy to support the green development and digitalisation of the EU. The strategy will help strengthen the availability of responsibly produced raw materials and boost the resource-efficient design and recycling of products. The newly established European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA), with Finnish Minerals Group as a founding member, will serve as platform for European level cooperation.

“The objective of the European Green Deal is to make the EU carbon neutral by 2050 and pave the way for other continents in the fight against climate change. However, these efforts can be achieved only with the help of sustainably produced raw materials,” notes CEO Matti Hietanen.

Most of the mineral raw materials used in Europe today are imported from outside the continent, which poses a significant supply risk to its industry. However, Europe has every opportunity to develop reliable and sustainable production of commodities based on its existing infrastructure and innovation capacity.

Rare earth elements lead the way

ERMA’s first business case will focus on rare earth elements (REE), which are essential for a wide range of products, including mobile phones, the drivetrains of electric vehicles, and wind power turbines. The European rare earth industry is not currently competitive, and the EU intends to develop its strategic approach for increasing the flexible availability of rare earth elements to European industry.

According to Chief Technology Officer Jani Kiuru, Finnish Minerals Group has already carried out practical research on rare earth elements. The EU-funded research project of Group companies explored the rare earth elements in Terrafame’s ore as well as their technical and economic potential. Terrafame’s solvent extration plant, which will be commissioned at a later date, will also provide new opportunities for the recovery of rare earth elements as by-products.

According to Kiuru, Finnish Minerals Group is planning to go beyond these initiatives. 

“Our goal is to look at the deposits of rare earth elements in Finland and assess their technical and economic potential. We also want to explore the rare earth element value chain and assess the potential of developing their production in Finland towards a higher degree of processing," says Kiuru.

A number of companies representing the different parts of the value chain have already signed up for ERMA’s cooperative rare earth element initiative. 

 

For more information:
Chief Technology Officer Jani Kiuru, Finnish Minerals Group, +358 40 823 8471, jani.kiuru(at)mineralsgroup.fi

 

The mission of Finnish Minerals Group is to responsibly maximise the value of Finnish minerals. We manage the State’s mining industry shareholdings and strive to develop the Finnish value chain of lithium-ion batteries. In addition, we are engaged in long-term technology development of the mining and battery industry. Through our work, we contribute to Europe moving towards electric transport and a more sustainable future. www.mineralsgroup.fi