Mining revival offers hope in crisis-hit Europe

Thu Jul 4, 2013 11:34am EDT
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* Countries offer large labour pools, good ore prospects, low risk

* EU policy initiatives encourage raw materials independence

* EU initiatives to revive steel, aluminium industries

By Susan Thomas

LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) - A gradual shift in European attitudes and policy toward mining in the past four years, spurred by the need to create jobs and to ensure supply of critical materials, has led to investment and a nascent revival of the industry.

New or resurrected mining and smelting projects in some areas of Europe are providing some prospects for growth in the region as countries struggle with recession and crippling unemployment.

A handful of countries, including hard-hit Spain and Portugal, are attracting investment with good grades of ore, a large labour pool, revamped mining regulations and low political risk.

"Spain has gone from being shy of mining to being welcoming of mining. The political landscape has turned 180 degrees," said EMED Mining Chief Executive Harry Anagnostaras-Adams, whose London-listed company plans to reopen a former Rio Tinto copper mine near Seville.

"There has been a marked transformation between when we arrived six years ago, when mining was not conventionally regarded as a favourite industry, to today when it overshadows most other initiatives in the area."   Continued...