Minerals and metals are the lifeblood of our modern society and the key to a more sustainable future. The European Green Deal outlines the complex challenges Europe is facing on the way to carbon-neutrality and a zero-waste economy. A sustainable supply of non-fuel, non-agricultural raw materials from primary and secondary sources is crucial for the decarbonisation and functioning of Europe's industry. Technology-driven innovation with its increasing demand for strategic minerals and metals, combined with Europe's high import dependency highlights the need to take action and to address strategic issues such as criticality, global supply, resource & energy efficiency and economic development (Figure 1 and 2). The social acceptance of the primary raw materials sector, resource efficiency in mineral processing and valorisation of waste and tailings are hereby some of the most critical topics. Responsible investments to boost exploration and mining efforts and to strengthen processing capabilities through smart and sustainable solutions are further key aspects of this ambitious but much-needed initiative.
In this context, the Lighthouse Sustainable Discovery and Supply acts as a broker for innovation, technological advancement, knowledge transfer and entrepreneurial spirit. Moreover, the Lighthouse is actively engaging in an open and transparent dialogue to emphasise the benefits of a strong raw materials sector in Europe with a Social License to Operate.