The EUMICON 2012 – the international mineral resources conference will take place in Leoben/Austria, 19– 21 September.
The mineral resources sector holds the key to Europe’s future as a business location and its ability to create employment. Industries that directly or indirectly depend on mineral resources provide about 30 million jobs – 14 % of total employment in Europe – and generate over 1300 billion € per year in value added. The EU has deposits of many mineral resources, and is particularly well endowed with mineral building materials such as gypsum and natural stone, but it is heavily dependent on imports of some materials – notably rare earths, technology metals and metal ores. Many materials can also be recycled. Since 2008 the EU has been working on a European raw materials strategy. The current quest for a return to growth in Europe has galvanised interest in mineral resources.
Resource-efficient extraction, the long-term availability and affordable processing of raw materials, and their recovery and return to the production cycle are pivotal issues. The most influential event in this year’s international mineral resources conference calendar, EUMICON 2012, will examine these topics from a wide variety of perspectives.
EUMICON 2012 will aim not just to take stock of the major challenges facing the mineral resources sector, but also to lay the groundwork for a sustainable European raw materials strategy and policy framework. During the conference high-calibre experts will be looking for answers to the central questions confronting the sector. Their conclusions will be distilled into a “Leoben Declaration”. The conference will focus on three main areas: security of supply, resource diplomacy, and recycling.
The keynote speakers will include Austrian Minister of Economy, Family and Youth, Reinhold Mitterlehner, Physics Nobel Laureate Johannes Bednorz, and OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri, as well as top managers of multinational corporations, leading academics and representatives of European trade associations. The conference is being held under the patronage of Austrian President Heinz Fischer.
The Presidency of EUMICON is being held by Wolfgang Eder, EUROFER President and CEO of voestalpine AG. Franz Friesenbichler, Managing Director of Imerys Talc Austria GmbH and President of the Association of the Austrian Mining and Steel Producing Industry, will serve as Vice-President. The diversity of the mineral resources sector will be reflected by the seven specialist panels. Here, too, the presence of outstanding speakers will make for top-quality discussions. Panel members will include: Volker Steinbach (German Mineral Resources Agency); Reinhard Pongratz (OMV Exploration & Production, Austria); Bodo Luengen (Steel Institute VDeH, Germany); Robin Batterham (University of Melbourne, Australia); and Alois Schedl (CEO of ASFINAG, Austria). The subjects of the specialist panels will be: Mining and Minerals; Mineral Processing and Recycling; the Petroleum Industry; Sustainable Raw Materials Extraction; Underground Engineering; Ferrous and Non‑ferrous Metallurgy; and HSE in Extractive Industries.