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FinnMin announces its election objectives: “Last chance to make a new mineral strategy”

8.2.2023 klo 13.11
The demand for many minerals will grow rapidly in the coming years, but their availability has become increasingly uncertain. It is therefore important for Finland to make a mineral strategy appropriate to the new situation, to streamline permitting practices, and to invest in research and training into sustainable mining.

The replacement of fossil fuels by electric solutions and digitalisation is multiplying the demand for many metals. For too long, Europe has been confident that minerals can be brought in from elsewhere.  The EU nations consume approximately about one-fifth of the world’s minerals but produce only a couple of per cent.

The European Commission and the European Parliament started tackling the threat of a shortage of raw materials for the member states even before Russia’s wide-ranging attack on Ukraine. The war has given a real example of the consequences that can be caused when there are difficulties in the supply of raw materials.

“So far, the problems have been more apparent in the energy sector, but they are also evident in the raw materials market. It is now time for Finland to discuss how the demand for minerals can be met before things get out of hand” says Pekka Suomela, Executive Officer of FinnMin.

Finland can be part of the solution

Finland has better opportunities than many other EU countries for strengthening its own supply of raw materials. The bedrock in Finland has unique raw material reserves. Finland's mineral deposits hold. In all, with their principal yield being 14 critical raw materials.

“However, in order to realise this potential, we need to work with steadfast determination. First of all, we need to work together to develop a minerals strategy that answers the question of the availability of minerals”, Suomela adds.

The strategy needs to strengthen the conditions for own mineral production in as versatile a manner as possible.  One essential factor is the speeding up of permitting practices.

“The mining industry will not be able to respond to the growth in demand if permitting processes can last up to a decade, as they do today”, says Suomela.

As production grows, it is important to further develop responsible practices in the mining industry. This will provide benefits for the environment, citizens, and the competitiveness of the mining industry as a whole. It is therefore natural to strengthen the funding of education and research in mining technology.

It is a comprehensive solution

The increase in own mining production is not the only answer to the increase in mineral demand. We also need new circular economy models and European cooperation that safeguards reliable supply chains.

More on FinnMin’s election objectives (in Finnish)