Mintell4EU WP2 – Update to Electronic European Minerals Yearbook

 

Objectives

The objective of the work package is to update the data contained within the electronic European Minerals Yearbook, produced by the Minerals4EU project (during the period from September 2013 to August 2015).

 

Description of work

The Minerals Intelligence Network for Europe project (Minerals4EU), which received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (grant agreement number: 608921), produced as one of its key deliverables an electronic European Minerals Yearbook containing mineral statistical data for six data types relating to primary raw materials, alongside data for waste flows. The datasets for primary raw materials included:

  • Production data for 2004 to 2013
  • Import data for 2004 to 2013
  • Export data for 2004 to 2013
  • Resource data as at 31 December 2013
  • Reserve data as at 31 December 2013
  • Exploration data with a reference year of 2013

In each case, the project attempted to collect data for a total of 40 European countries and more than 60 mineral commodities.

However, with the completion of the Minerals4EU project, these datasets have remained static. This work package proposes to update these datasets according to the schedule outlined in the following three tasks:

Task 2.1: Production data updates for 2014 to 2017 and trade data updates for 2014 to 2016 (Month 1-12)

T.2.1.1: Production data for 2014, 2015 and 2016 will be provided from the UKRI/BGS World Mineral Statistics database and will be available from the start of the project. This sub-task involves the development of a digital method for reliably transferring these production data to the database that sits behind the electronic European Minerals Yearbook. It will take into account the work that will be ongoing within the ORAMA project and will include quality assurance procedures to ensure the transfer happens correctly. During this task UKRI/BGS will also collect production data relating to 2017 and these will be made available by month 12 for the digital transfer to the Yearbook.

T.2.1.2: Trade data for 2014 already exists within the UKRI/BGS World Mineral Statistics database but trade data for 2015 and 2016 will need to be compiled. For these latter two years, the raw trade data will be purchased from a supplying agency, checked for consistency with prior years by experienced UKRI/BGS staff and cross-checked with other data sources such as Eurostat and the United Nations Commodity Trade database. This process will endeavour to fill gaps in the data and ensure consistency across all countries. The compiled dataset will then be subjected to the usual UKRI/BGS quality assurance procedures. Once these steps have been completed, the three years of data will be transferred by the same digital method as sub-task 2.1.1 into the database that sits behind the electronic European Minerals Yearbook.

T.2.1.3: Once the transfer of data has taken place under sub-tasks 2.1.1 and 2.1.2, the user interface for the electronic European Minerals Yearbook will be updated.

Task 2.2: Production data updates for 2018 and 2019 together with trade data updates for 2017 and 2018 (Month 13-36)

T.2.2.1: Production data for 2018 will be collected by UKRI/BGS during months 13 to 24, in accordance with its existing methods and subjected to the usual UKRI/BGS quality assurance procedures which ensure the data are consistent across all countries and with prior years. The data will then be made available by month 24 for the digital transfer to the database that sits behind the electronic European Minerals Yearbook as developed under task 2.1. This sub-task will then be repeated for 2019 production data and made available for the digital transfer by month 36.

T.2.2.2: Trade data for 2017 and 2018 will be collected in a similar manner to that described under sub-task 2.1.2 during months 13 to 24 and made available by month 24 for the digital transfer to the database that sits behind the electronic European Minerals Yearbook by the digital method developed under task 2.1.

T.2.2.3: Once the transfer of data has taken place under sub-tasks 2.2.1 and 2.2.2, the user interface for the electronic European Minerals Yearbook will be updated.

Task 2.3: Resources, reserves and exploration data updates with a reference year of 2019 (Month 25-36)

T.2.3.1: Data related to mineral resources and reserves in Europe was collected for the Minerals4EU project using a questionnaire. This sub-task will first review the survey forms and utilise the lessons learned from the Minerals4EU project to make small revisions to the forms to improve their ease of completion. These revised questionnaire forms will then be used to conduct a new survey of mineral resources and reserves across Europe with a reference year of 2019.

During the Minerals4EU project it was recognised that each country of Europe has its own methods and procedures for collecting and/or recording resources and reserves data which means that the data are not harmonised across the continent and the figures for different countries cannot be directly and reliably compared. An amalgamated total for Europe is also not possible as a consequence. A separate project, Optimising Quality of Information in Raw Materials Data Collection Across Europe (ORAMA), is seeking to begin the process of addressing this issue by identifying a single system of reporting that all countries should endeavour to use when reporting mineral resources and reserves data for purposes such as the electronic European Minerals Yearbook (even if each country continues to use its own systems internally or for other purposes, such as reporting to stock exchanges, etc). The ORAMA project is scheduled to end in November 2019 and hence this task is deliberately delayed until after that project has completed.

Whilst it is anticipated that the harmonisation process for resources and reserves data is unlikely to be completely resolved by the end of the ORAMA project, mainly because the training element is likely to be significant and ongoing, it is expected that progress towards harmonisation will have been made by this time. Additional workshops are also proposed under WP3 of this proposal which will assist with this process. Consequently it is hoped that the data collected during this proposed survey will be more harmonised and consistent than those collected during the previous survey carried out under the Minerals4EU project during 2014/15. However, this expected improvement is reliant on the ORAMA project and ongoing training sessions, and is beyond the control of this task. Therefore, if significant progress is not made towards harmonisation by the time this task is due to start, the new survey will collect non-harmonised resources and reserves data because undertaking any form of harmonisation process for this data type is outside the scope of this work package. It is also possible that data collected under this task are only partially harmonised.

The method for transferring the resources and reserves data to the electronic European Minerals Yearbook during the Minerals4EU project will be reviewed and new procedures will be written to ensure the collected data are transferred to the Yearbook in a reliable and efficient manner.

T.2.3.2: Exploration data was collected during the Minerals4EU project using five metrics (expenditure, total number of active licences, total number of new licences issued, area under exploration and number of companies involved) but data for all these metrics were not available from all countries. First this sub-task will review the data collected by the previous survey to identify which of these metrics are most commonly available and/or most valuable. The survey questionnaire will be modified accordingly before a new survey is conducted with a reference year of 2019.

The method for transferring the exploration data to the electronic European Minerals Yearbook will also be reviewed and new procedures will be written to ensure the collected data are transferred to the Yearbook in a reliable and efficient manner.

T.2.3.3: Once the transfer of data has taken place under sub-tasks 2.3.1 and 2.3.2, the user interface for the electronic European Minerals Yearbook will be updated.