European mining seemingly regaining lost lustre as at least one mine opens each year since 2008 – by Ilan Solomons (MiningWeekly.com – May 22, 2015)

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HANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Europe is remarkable in that its mining industry predates the Roman Empire, yet large portions of unexplored territories with highly prospective resources remain, says European metals and minerals mining representative body Euromines president Mark Rachovides.

Mattia Pellegrini, head of the raw materials, metals, minerals and forest-based industries unit of the European Commission* Directorate-General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, tells Mining Weekly that the body recently commissioned a study to assess the competitiveness of the European mining industry.

The results highlighted that the 28 member countries of the European Union (EU) have an active nonenergy extractive industry that produces a wide range of commodities.

He adds, however, that the results also showed the EU’s “modest” contribution to the global production of mineral resources. “Nevertheless, when one considers investment in exploration in some of the EU member States during the past five years, there is an encouragingly increasing trend,” states Pellegrini.

He points out that research and educational organisation the Fraser Institute’s ‘Annual Survey of Mining and Exploration Companies: 2014’ report states that several EU member States, such as Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Poland, Portugal and Spain, score well on the perceived influence of taxation regimes on exploration investment.

Euromines director Dr Corina Hebestreit also highlights that at least one new mine has opened in Europe every year since 2008. “Therefore, I believe that the European mining industry is in a good, solid position,” she asserts.

However, independent mining consultant at GatesBridge Andrew Fulton believes that the mining industry in Europe is “a ghost of its former self”.

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