First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
European Minerals Day 2017 participants at Nordkalk's Kurevere dolomite quarry
European Minerals Day recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with Estonia the location of the latest event’s showpiece launch.
With Estonia holding the EU presidency, it was fitting that the Baltic nation staged the launch event for the 10th anniversary European Minerals Day (EMD). The EMD 2017 launch event (21-22 September), supported by the European Commission, was hosted by Estonian UEPG (European Aggregates Association) member Kunda Nordic and Nordkalk’s Kurevere dolomite quarry. It told the story of how the minerals industry contributes to sustainable regions and the well-being of local communities while making the link to the EU jobs and growth agenda, and the EU biodiversity strategy.
The EMD programme included visits to quarries, processing facilities and the port of Kunda, highlighting the local birds and orchids’ biodiversity case studies and allowing participants to witness a quarry blasting. The case studies presented over two days of visits featured, among other topics, Kunda Nordic’s and Nordkalk Kurevere’s sustainable investment in and commitment to resource efficiency, environment and biodiversity, as well as examples of good practice in community relations.
Kunda Nordic, as a member of HeidelbergCement, joined the partnership programme ‘Sand martin conservation in Estonian quarries’ with the Estonian Ornithological Society in 2016. The aim of the project is to clarify Estonian population estimates, habitat use and breeding success of sand martins (Riparia riparia), and to promote through applied research the following: conservation guidelines; site management plans; and the concept of biodiversity preservation at mineral extraction sites which is new to Estonia.
This high-profile EMD event welcomed representatives from the European Commission and MEPs, Estonian EU presidency, regional and the local authorities, as well European and Estonian stakeholders including industry, unions, NGOs, academia and media. Among the guest speakers were Peter Handley (DG GROW, European Commission), Micheal O’Briain (DG ENVI, European Commission), Ando Leppiman and Kalev Kallemets (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia), Marko Pomerants (member of parliament and previous Environment Minister of Estonia), Neeme Suur (Governor, Lääne County), Prof. Alar Rosentau (University of Tartu), Kaido Veski (Mayor of Kunda), and Liis Keerberg (Birdlife International) Dirk Fincke (Secretary General of UEPG – the European Aggregates Association).
What is the European Minerals Day?
Every two years, quarries and plants all over Europe open their doors to the public and invite their local communities, and especially schools, to visit their operations and find out more about how minerals are extracted, processed and used, and their importance to our society.
On 22-24 September, European Minerals Day engaged minerals producers all over Europe to host ‘Quarry and Plant Open Days’. Each year, around 30,000 people from neighbouring communities seize this rare opportunity to experience the world of minerals up close and find out what goes on behind the gates of the quarry, mine or plant in their vicinity. So far, more than 130 events have been registered in 26 countries, both in Europe and abroad, and dozens more have been announced. Typical activities include school visits, guided tours, workshops, exhibitions, biodiversity projects, and many more. See www.mineralsday.eu
This awareness-raising initiative is co-organised by several mineral sectors and is welcomed by the European institutions as an excellent way to enhance public understanding of the importance of the mineral raw materials sector for Europe’s economy, especially in terms of innovation, competitiveness, health and safety, jobs and growth.
Who are the main partners in the European Minerals Day?
The European Minerals Day supporters:
How to join EMD?
Any time during the year you can register and report about your event or initiative on the EMD website. National Associations and companies are welcome to join, organise an event, open sites to the public or link to the EMD with planned events over the EMD year.