Mining innovation exchange through Nordic collaboration – Minearc project launched with United States Department of State Support
The demand for critical raw materials will increase significantly, as will the technologies required for the clean energy transition, such as renewable energy production, the battery industry, and electric cars.
Minearc is funded by the United States Department of State and implemented by a consortium comprising Oulu Mining School of the University of Oulu, Finland as the coordinator, and Technical University of Luleå (LTU), Sweden and Mining Finland. The collaboration agreement was announced by the parties on 5 February 2024 at the Mining Indaba event for the African mining sector in Cape Town, South Africa.
The project will kick off with cooperation workshops in April 2024, followed by cooperation visits in the summer. The three-year project will also create an active communication and networking platform for sharing experiences, best practices, know-how, opportunities, and challenges related to the production of critical raw minerals.
The concentration of Europe's ore potential in the north has long provided the Nordic countries with a strong and stable base of expertise in sustainable mining. "The Minearc cooperation promotes the export of sustainable Nordic mining know-how. Mining development everywhere is strongly oriented towards responsible solutions. A broad understanding of the sector's role in solving global challenges without ignoring environmental and social impacts is required from all actors and new talents," says Saija Luukkanen, Professor and the Head of Oulu Mining School.
Minearc seeks to support technical exchange for delegations from selected beneficiary countries from Africa and elsewhere to Sweden and Finland. The program will include custom-designed classroom training, site visits to mining and processing facilities, and meetings with relevant stakeholders. The project will organize round-table discussions, and virtual workshops focusing on technical, economical, and environmental aspects of critical raw mineral production. Thematic areas include best practices on sector management, regulation, and governance; and promoting responsible and sustainable mining practices. The participants capacity will be enhanced to establish metrics and monitor benefits received at all levels, from national government to local communities.
This comprehensive approach aims to provide a holistic view of leading practices in the mining sector and highlight the benefits of making informed choices through quality, competitive, and transparent investments.