The Romanian government approved a decree on amending the Mining Code to facilitate the reopening of non-energy mining operations, Economy Minister Radu Oprea announced on Friday. The decree incorporates into Romanian law the potential for the exploitation of critical materials, anticipating a surge in demand for rare earths in the coming years.

This can be achieved “if there are environmentally friendly technologies and they do not cause pollution,” said Oprea, addressing an existing environmental issue in Romania related to settling ponds and landfills. In addition, local community representatives will be involved in resuming mining for critical materials.

However, the government has said it does not know where critical minerals mining could be resumed. Critical raw materials are of significant economic importance to the EU, with a high risk of supply disruption due to concentrated sources and the lack of viable substitutes. To enhance the bloc’s strategic autonomy, the Critical Raw Materials Act aims to increase and diversify the EU’s supply of these materials, enhance circularity, including recycling, and support research and innovation in resource efficiency and the development of alternatives.

Source: Euractiv

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