New methods required
The European Union (EU) consumes 20 to 35% of the most important base metals worldwide while importing more than 80% of its commodities representing more than 23 billion euros per year. Its domestic production is limited to about 3% of the world production. Countries with the largest contributions to global supply are: China (49%), USA (9%), Brazil (6%), South Africa (6%), and Russia (4%).
The construction, chemical, automotive, aerospace, machinery and equipment sectors, which provide a total added value of €1.324 billion and employment for some 30 million people, all depend on access to raw materials. The mining industry provides jobs for more than 350,000 people in Europe.
As shown by the latest research projects (e.g. ProMine) the potential of metallic minerals in Europe is huge. Some European countries such as Sweden, Finland, Greenland, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Poland and Ireland possess critical raw materials. Most of the deposits have already been exploited up to depths of around 1 km where traditional mining technology reaches its limits. New methods are required for recovering these deposits in an economic, sustainable and environmentally acceptable manner.
BIOMOre is striving to reduce the gap between European supply and the demand for metal and mineral resources by providing an alternative mining method in order to get access to and exploit mineral deposits that would neither be accessible nor exploitable using traditional mining methods. This planned new mining method may be applied to newly discovered deposits as well as an extension of existing mines.