Within the Nordic countries, the mining industry and its related industries are important drivers for the development of national, regional and local economy. The mining industry in the Nordic region forms the largest metal producing region and is the technology leader in Europe, but is not yet very coordinated.
Europe's dependence on metals and minerals for sustainable growth is high. The European Commission is working to address the security of supply of metals and minerals for the European industry. In the Nordic region the question about security of supply and the development of a more sustainable mining and mineral industry is also high on the agenda. Finland published in 2010 a national mineral strategy that has the vision for Finland in 2050: "to be a global leader in the sustainable use of minerals and that the mineral area is one of the mainstays of the economy.
Sweden and Norway are currently working to develop national mineral strategies. Iceland plans to develop a national mineral strategy in the next years. The Finnish research funding agency Tekes has launched a five-year program (2011-2016) Green Mining with a total budget of 60 million Euro.
In light of the situation in Europe, the excellent geological potential of the Nordic region and a joint concern for sustainability there is a great opportunity for joint Nordic efforts in the area of mining and mineral industry at present. It is assessed that there is a large potential for collaboration on at the Nordic level.