European Minerals Day

What do well-known materials such as talc, clay, sand, marble, etc… have in common? Why are they called minerals? Why do we need minerals? How are minerals extracted and processed? Who are the people working in a quarry? What do you have to study to work with minerals? What impact does a quarry or plant have on its surrounding area?

Every two years, the European Minerals Day (EMD) gives the opportunity to the European-wide public to explore the world of minerals.

Over one week-end, quarries and plants from the minerals sector all over Europe open their doors to schools, students, families, neighbours and all those interested to discover more about an industry that affects every aspect of our lives.

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The EMD is an initiative by the European minerals sector and its related representative organisations. During its first edition in 2007, it welcomed more than 30,000 visitors in over 100 sites in 17 European countries. Its success incited a wave of enthusiasm and the number of sites has been steadily increasing, even spreading to other continents!

The 2015 European Minerals Day welcomed thousands of visitors at more than 200 events in 22 countries in Europe and 7 around the globe!

The European Minerals Day is a commitment under the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials, seeking to enhance understanding, acceptance and trust of mining operations. The Open Days offer an opportunity to the public to experience how the minerals sector contributes to:

  • Innovation: Minerals are at the core of technological progress and leading-edge industrial sectors
  • Regional Development: Minerals operations are at the heart of local economies and provide for jobs and growth with many businesses depending on them
  • Biodiversity: The minerals sector helps to enhance biodiversity and contributes to eco-system services
  • Resource efficiency: Minerals companies sustainably manage their resources, from the way they extract, and process the minerals, and also contribute to resource efficiency and energy savings throughout the value chain
  • Safety – the no 1 priority of the minerals sector

During the open days, typical activities included guided visits through active quarries and mines, rehabilitated zones, safety presentations, biodiversity projects, workshops, and entertainment activities for children (carving, griming, mineral exploration games, fossil hunting, drawing and painting). Museums, nature organisations, geological surveys etc. join in ensuring fun, educational days for young and old. The open days provide the opportunity to visit active quarries, mines and plants, access to which is normally restricted due to safety reasons. Safety Awareness is hence also an important theme, presented in an educational, and interactive way.

We are now looking forward to the 2017 European Minerals Day, which is planned to be held from 22 till 24 September 2017.

The 2017 European Minerals Day will be inaugurated and officially launched by representatives of the European institutions on 22 September 2017 at a quarry site in one of the EU Member States.