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Best Environmental Practices in the Mining Sector in the Barents Region

International Conference 23-25 April 2013

image of Best Environmental Practices in the Mining Sector in the Barents Region

The natural resources of the Barents Region are of strategic importance for Europe. One intensively developing sector is mining, which will bring new opportunities to the region, but which will also cause changes in the environment. The Conference on Best Environmental Practices in the Mining Sector in the Barents Region was held in Rovaniemi in April 2013. The Conference targeted the environmental issues connected to the mining sector and promoted best environmental practices for mines in the Barents Region. The overall goal for the Conference was to increase awareness of the challenges in the mining sector and to exchange information on assessing and managing social and environmental concerns. These Conference proceedings present the Concept Note on Common Challenges of the Conference and the abstracts of the presentations.

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Conclusions

Common challenges to the environmental and social performance of the mining sector

The world needs mining, but not all mines are necessary. As we are speaking of non-renewable resources, often with large negative consequences for the environment and for indigenous peoples, the opening of a new mine is not a question to be decided by the market and the mining companies. Gold mines are examples of unnecessary mines, as there are enormous amounts of stored gold internationally, with no real need for new gold. Similar assessments of the basic international need for the particular mineral or metal should be made for every proposed mine, respecting indigenous rights.

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