Work Package 2: Minerals Intelligence Network

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WP2 has as its main, specific task, to create a sustainable network of partners and organisations, building on the Minerals4EU partnership, which will result in the creation of a permanent body or structure thereby ensuring the continuation of the minerals intelligence network beyond the lifetime of the project. There will be a need to link to national networking, since national minerals intelligence is provided by various national players like mining authorities, mining companies, federations, geological surveys, statistical bureaus etc. The European networking should be based on successful national networking, so that all or nearly all data are collected effectively and following the same rules. This means all countries will need to collect the data in the same way.

WP2 is divided into three tasks: firstly to establish the scope of the Network; secondly to define membership rules and related issues; and finally to determine the Network management criteria and operational rules including how to guarantee its long term survival through the establishment of a permanent body.

Scope of the Network: The Minerals Intelligence Network will be supported during the project with data from the other WPs. Due to the nature of the consortium and its management structure, there is likely to be a free flow of information into the network, and out again to the members. The Network system is intended to be a permanent system under a well-defined structure, so this means there has to be a clear dialogue between the network operators and the suppliers of raw or processed data on which the network depends. The exact nature of the data concerning mineral and metal primary and secondary resources, anthropogenic sources, and supply and demand data, will be defined by the Network partners in consultation with the other project partners. A number of aspects to be considered in this task include:
• Providing a description of the resources and capacities to be integrated and how a durable integration is intended to be achieved;
• Developing the scientific and technological objectives of the network;
• Defining the main lines and timetable of network activities for the whole duration of the Minerals4EU project;
• Maintaining the relevance of the network to the objectives of the Minerals4EU project.

Membership rules and related criteria: here the issue of membership of the network is dealt with, as well as the operational conditions of the network. Initially the network membership will be from the consortium, since the members are those supposed to be the data owners at EU level, and which in fact comprises mainly the National Geological Surveys and other key EU players, including all the main European raw materials industry associations (EUROMINES, IMA, EUROMETAUX and UEPG). The network must also be extended to include academics, and the main technology and related platforms. The involvement of the European Technology Platform on Sustainable Mineral Resources (ETP SMR), which brings together all the European industrial players, is guaranteed by EuroGeoSurveys, which sits in the ETP SMR Steering Committee and runs the ETP SMR Secretariat. Moreover an Industrial Consultation Committee will be formed of main stakeholders and end user industries who will have an important voice in determining the output of the network. Academic institutes are not normally the owners of large, regional data sets, but may be able to contribute some data to WP4 and WP5, and could bring their knowledge to the network. A major interest in the outcome of data processing is the European Commission itself. The network should therefore strive to become the authoritative source on which the European Commission can base its judgements and policy making.

Network structure and permanent body: The creation of a Network of the complexity and with the ambitious objectives defined by Minerals4EU needs a firm but also flexible organizational and managerial structure. This task deals with Network management, administrative, legal and financial management, technical management and quality management. A key issue is the selection of the network operator and manager, which must be decided at the start of the project.

Because of the structuring nature of any network and the tendency therefore for the participants or members to become mutually dependent, the network shall establish an effective system of governance that ensures the active engagement of its participant organisations at the policy-making level. The main scope will be to oversee the integration of the participants’ activities and to ensure that, as well as strengthening excellence, the network will also fulfil its mission to spread excellence.

The following activities are included under the heading of network management:
• Organisation and management of the joint activities of the network;
• Governance and decision-making structures of the network;
• Activities linked to network level financial and accounting management and legal issues;
• Communication with the all Network members, and all reporting;
• Management of the knowledge generated by the network, including protection of intellectual property;
• Role of the participants within the network and specific skills and input of each of them;
• Support for the work of the governing council and other supervisory bodies;
• Overseeing the promotion of gender equality within the network.