ORAMA Project - D6-6 Technical Final Report and Recommendations
Securing the sustainable access to and supply of raw materials, and particularly of Critical Raw Materials (CRM), is of high importance for the European economy. Complex primary and secondary resources contain many different raw materials. The inability to easily produce reliable statistics about reserves, resources, stocks, and flows of raw materials limits the understanding of global trends in resource availability and hampers formulation of mineral and waste policies. This ultimately affects supply chain security and strategic decisions by industry. Hence, it is an issue of great concern for the European Commission (EC) and many other stakeholders. The ORAMA project (Optimising quality of information in RAw MAterial data collection across Europe) seeks to contribute to better supply of raw materials by improving the quality of harmonised raw materials data collection and information sharing among the different levels within the European Union (EU).
Data collection practices for primary and secondary raw materials (PRM and SRM) face specific challenges in EU Member States (MS). For PRM data, the main concerns are related to data availability, geographical coverage, accessibility, harmonisation, interoperability, quality, and thematic coverage. The reporting of primary mineral resources and reserves statistics is currently carried out by a wide variety of systems, standards or codes which are not directly comparable. Hence, it is currently impossible to produce reliable pan-European figures for resources for any mineral commodity. ORAMA addresses these issues by recommending a single standard for reporting of resource data, the United Nations Framework Classification (UNFC), a framework for reporting mineral resource data developed by the UN. To enable and encourage data providers to adopt this standard for European PRM data, the ORAMA project has developed resources in the form of a range of training materials and good practice examples.
The ORAMA project demonstrates that the analysis of various classifications and reporting systems that sit within the INSPIRE (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community) concept and data services, are not opposing but rather integral elements of the proper European level data collection and production of information for PRM and SRM. The use of UNFC/UNRMS (United Nations Resource Management System) in the framework of the INSPIRE compliant data service can significantly contribute to sustainable resource management taking into account not only geological knowledge and raw materials potential but also environmental and social issues, based on using the national/regional legislative elements for exploration and exploitation as well.
In the case of SRM, the challenges are somewhat different. Regarding mining waste (MIN), the lack of information on deposit characteristics (composition, volumes, and suitable processing technology) is a huge barrier in the identification of recovery potential of the valuable materials that remain in the waste. Furthermore, the lack of a single reporting standard commonly accepted at EU level has created a dispersion of existing information in various systems and project deliverables. In the case of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and batteries, beyond the lack of harmonisation, substantial data gaps exist for the market inputs, materials consumption and stocks, and for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) for unaccounted flows ending up being scavenged, metal scrap and export channels. For vehicles, huge amounts of data, both on stocks and flows and on composition, are systematically collected by authorities and the manufacturing industry, but are only publicly available in a somewhat too aggregated form (placed on market (POM), stock, waste flows) or not at all (composition data).
Even when collected, the reporting of the composition of these flows on a product, component and materials level are currently poorly described across all MS, and when actually ending up in recycling processes, the recovery efficiency for all elements and CRMs, in particular, is disappointing. In order to improve the data collection and reporting practices for SRM a structured review and inventory were made followed by a data gap analysis which resulted in the developments of recommendations and subsequently the selection of 6 case studies. The SRM case studies tackle the main data gaps encountered in the analysis and developed tools that will enable the improvement and harmonisation of collection and reporting practices in MS, treatment facilities, data providers, academia among others.
The ORAMA project recommends to establish more structured and continuous funding for realising and maintaining a European data infrastructure for tracking both PRM and SRM. The current project-by-project based financing is insufficient and not sustainable to properly track and understand Europe’s strengths and weaknesses in the early resource intensive stages of global supply chains.
material stocks and flows
Critical raw materials
Secondary raw materials