Nordic mining knowledge strengthens sustainable mining in African countries
A new Nordic cooperation, The MINEARC (Mining Innovation Exchange through Arctic Regional Collaboration) project, United States Department of State, aims to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing on critical raw materials in the mining sector and skills that promote sustainable and responsible mining.
” Europe and Africa are strong partners for the green transition.The MINEARC project contributes to more efficient mining operations with stronger ESG credentials by bringing together expertise from both continents along the mining value chain. Resource-rich countries will benefit from this cooperation that will also help to establish resilient supply chains for critical raw materials”, says Thomas Aiglsperger, Associate Professor in Applied Geochemistry at Luleå University of Technology.
MINEARC is funded by the United States Department of State and implemented by a consortium comprising Oulu Mining School of the University of Oulu, Finland, as the coordinator, and Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Sweden, and Mining Finland. The parties announced the collaboration agreement on 5 February 2024 at the Mining Indaba event for the African mining sector in Cape Town, South Africa.
It is well known that the demand for critical raw materials will increase significantly, as will the technologies required for the transition to clean energy, such as renewable energy production, the battery industry, and electric cars. The three-year project will also create an active communication and networking platform for sharing experiences, best practices, know-how, opportunities, and challenges in producing critical raw minerals. The project will kick off with cooperation workshops in April 2024, followed by cooperation visits in the summer. The program will include custom-designed classroom training, site visits to mining and processing facilities, and meetings with relevant stakeholders. The project will organize round-table discussions and virtual workshops focusing on critical raw mineral production's technical, economic, and environmental aspects.
"The MINEARC cooperation promotes the export of sustainable Nordic mining know-how. Mining development everywhere is strongly oriented towards responsible solutions. A broad understanding of the sector's role in solving global challenges without ignoring environmental and social impacts is required from all actors and new talents in the mining sector," says Saija Luukkanen, Professor and the Head of Oulu Mining School.