Participants at the conference organised by the British company MINECO LTD under the European IMP@CT project from 15 to 18 May in Olovo and Sarajevo concluded that mining needs a new operational model that would bring great advancement in this field and enable quicker and easier exploitation of key resources in Europe. At the same time, they pointed out that new models in mining were needed to protect the environment and contribute to the development of local communities.
“All of us in the IMP@CT project not only believe in the future of European mining but it is clear to us all that European mining is more important than ever”, said Dominic Roberts, Chief Operating Officer of MINECO LTD, at a reception which was yesterday evening hosted by the British Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and which officially concluded the three-day conference.
British ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina H.E. Edward Ferguson greeted the conference participants at the reception.
“This is an exciting new project to develop new and innovative models of mining – faster and more flexible, but still environmentally safe and sustainable – that might help to make it more economically viable to exploit smaller metal deposits, like those that exist across much of Europe. Bosnia and Herzegovina has an opportunity to be at the forefront of this new approach, which could help to spread the economic benefits of mining more widely across the country”, said Ambassador Ferguson.
Over the last three days more than 50 researchers, scientists, project team members and MINECO consultants participated in the conference organised under the IMP@CT project. A number of workshops and lectures were held to discuss geology, mining, technological development and the importance of this industry for the economic and social development of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region.
“The IMP@CT Project brings together some of Europe’s leading mining experts and some of the best technical innovators in the private sector”, said Roberts. “There is a lot of work to do over the coming years, but I speak for the entire IMP@CT consortium when I say how very much we are looking forward to it.” He also pointed out that for the entire project team it was extremely important to find a way for mines that could not be long-term projects due to small deposits to leave behind a local community that could continue to grow and move forward.
The IMP@CT project has been granted €7 million from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation fund to develop targeted technological innovation in the design of mining equipment and in planning the mining of small deposits of strategically important metals such as lead, zinc and antimony. The project team believes that this would not only facilitate and speed up the development of feasibility studies but also improve the quality of mined material, infrastructure, land use, resource consumption and waste management.
The first test will be the Geomet mine in the Olovo municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina owned by Mineco. Experts in the field of geoethics and social and ecological sustainability will conduct the research.
The reception hosted by the British Embassy in Sarajevo was attended by representatives of the governments and ministries.