The Positive Shift for Mining in Europe
July 18, 2012 by Gold Editor
SOURCE:[Casey Research] - Europe has a long mining history and to this day still possesses a sizable chunk of the world's natural resources. Over the past few decades, however, EU countries have mostly imported their resources. This was easier, cheaper, and avoided most environmental conflicts. But now the trend seems to be reversing, due in no small part to the dragging economy and the real benefits of jobs and tax revenue that mining brings.
Overall interest in mining and exploration is increasing in Europe, as evidenced in Brussels, the continent's political center. A "Raw Materials Strategy" was initiated in 2008 and then revised and updated in 2010 and early 2011. Among other purposes, the initiative seeks to encourage sustainable supplies of raw materials from within the EU and calls for policies in support of domestic mining. In September 2011, the European Parliament adopted the "EU Raw Materials Strategy," a generally pro-mining document, though it's sometimes criticized by the industry for being "too bureaucratic." Quelle surprise!
It's positive, of course, that the political climate in Europe is at least in theory becoming more supportive of mining. Industry players also see new opportunities here: encouraged by high commodity prices, many mining companies have reopened abandoned mines and are explored ignored parts of the region.
Gold Mining in Europe Within Europe there are three main zones of metallogenic significance for gold: the Iberian Pyrite Belt; the Carpathian Arc; and the Baltic Shield. The first crosses from Portugal through southern Spain. The second stretches from the Czech Republic through Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, and into Turkey. The Baltic Shield traverses from western Russia through Finland, Sweden, and Norway.
Europe's gold mining contribution is approximately 1.2% of global mine production (though demand from the EU is roughly 15% of worldwide totals). Sweden, Finland, Spain, and Bulgaria are currently the largest gold producers in Europe. They mine about 640,000 million ounces of gold annually. Other countries with operating gold mines are Greenland, France, Greece, Romania, Portugal, Slovakia, and the UK.
The gold mining sector in Europe represents 16,000 direct and indirect jobs, as of 2009. Among the gold companies operating in the region are Eldorado Gold (EGO) in Greece and Romania; Agnico-Eagle (AEM) in Finland; and Gabriel Resources (T.GBU) in Romania, as well as other majors and juniors across the continent.