Towards sustainable mining – Integrated information system on raw material production and trade
Andreas Manhart, Doris Schüler, Stefanie Degreif, Peter Dolega
Raw material related policy development always relied on sound data on geological reserves, mining, trade und use of mineral commodities. While this information is traditionally provided by national geological surveys, the focus of raw material related policies widened over the last decade and increased the need for additional types of material-related information and analysis. This additional demand is mostly linked to the voluntary and mandatory approaches on conflict minerals and human rights, to a number of mining accidents and an increased international awareness of environmental issues, and the pronounced and unexpected price hikes for some commodities stimulating the demand for supply-risk and criticality assessments.
While these developments led to the creation of new assessment methodologies and raw material and country specific information systems, many of these initiatives mainly focus on their specific sphere of issues. As a consequence, there is now a wealth of high quality data and information tools on raw materials and mining available, but this knowledge is distributed over a quite broad variety of publications and datasets. For interested stakeholders from governments, industry, civil society and media, this diversity can be a major obstacle in finding the appropriate information, particularly information on re-sponsible mining and human right issues.
To overcome this problem, it should be considered to establish a common data and knowledge platform where data and information from the various existing sources are hosted in a structured and easy accessible manner. This contribution lays out first considerations for such a platform and was devel-oped within the EU project Strategic Dialogue on Sustainable Raw Materials for Europe (STRADE).