Austrian Mining and Steel Association’s Roman Stiftner on the Power of European Collective Voice

In a comprehensive interview hosted by Stephen Lautens of the Critical Minerals Institute (CMI) with Roman Stiftner, Managing Director of the Austrian Mining and Steel Association during PDAC 2024, Stiftner shared valuable insights into the European Union’s growing focus on the mining sector. Stiftner, who also serves as the vice president of Euromines, outlined the strategic efforts by these organizations to consolidate the industry’s voice within Europe. Highlighting the importance of a united front, he remarked, “Coming from a small country, it’s sometimes important to collect a bit more the strength of a common voice and be vocal in this way.” This collective approach aims to enhance the visibility and impact of the mining, steel, and non-ferrous metals industries at an international level, particularly through advocating for the sector’s interests to the European Commission, Parliament, and the wider public. Stiftner emphasized the importance of mining to achieving carbon neutrality across the continent and the planet, underscoring the sector’s foundational significance in the transition towards a more sustainable future.

The discussion explored the evolving importance of Europe in global mining, influenced by recent crises such as the pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and the urgent need to combat climate change. Stiftner identified these challenges as catalysts for a paradigm shift towards securing local mining operations and raw material supplies to bolster resilience and support the ecological transition. “We have to do something against climate change… Having mines in Europe and having the raw material side available for a more resilient supply of raw materials is key to make this transformation happen,” Stiftner explained, highlighting Europe’s active role in the green technology and electric vehicle revolutions. Furthermore, he advocated for stronger transatlantic cooperation based on shared ESG values, aiming to establish global standards for responsible sourcing. Recognizing Europe’s dependence on strategic partnerships for essential raw materials, Stiftner’s presence at PDAC underscored the Europe’s pursuit of collaboration with reliable partners like Canada, aiming to mutually enhance economic and environmental outcomes through mining.

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