The FRAME project shows the potential for critical raw materials in Europe
Access to critical raw materials is increasingly important when the EU push towards climate smart technology. The FRAME project has made progress in identifying the mineral resource potential in EU.
The targets set by the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030 demand lower emissions from the transport, industry and energy sectors. Fossil-free systems for energy production, energy storage and transport will require a large increase in production of certain critical metals and minerals including natural graphite, cobalt, lithium, rare earth elements as well as other critical raw materials. Europe is heavily dependent on imports of critical raw materials and ensuring stable access is an important issue for the EU, particularly since extraction and production are concentrated in just a few countries of which some have low environmental standards and bad working conditions.
The FRAME project (Forecasting and assessing Europe’s strategic raw materials needs) which finished in October 2021 was one of the projects funded by GeoERA Raw Materials aiming at increasing the knowledge about critical raw materials. The goal was to gain a better understanding of mineral potential and prospectivity within the EU. Sweden has a good potential for several of the critical raw materials, including both primary and secondary resources. Natural graphite, cobalt and lithium which are important in the production of Li-ion batteries, but also tantalum (which is also a defined as a conflict mineral) and rare earth elements are among the critical minerals and metals with a resource potential in Sweden.
SGU was work package leader of two work packages in FRAME:
Critical and Strategic Raw Materials Map of Europe contributed to the compilation of CRM mineralisations and developed metallogenic maps on European scale as well as prospectivity maps, with special attention to a selection of strategic and critical minerals in support of more efficient exploration and mining.
Conflict free Nb-Ta for the EU has surveyed the pan-European distribution of niobium (Nb) and tantalum (Ta) mineralisations in order to enhance their exploration interest and potential, as well as highlight the possibility of producing these critical metals ethically and indigenous to the EU. Case studies from Spain and Sweden was selected for detailed studies.
The latest version of the metallogenetic maps and mineralisation on rare earth elements, graphite, cobalt, lithium, phosphorous, niobium and tantalum with the contribution from other FRAME work packages and the Mineral Resource Expert Group (MREG) of EuroGeoSurveys have been produced.
Prospectivity maps (aka favourability maps) on European scale showing favourable areas of mineralisation of selected critical raw materials were produced in WP3.
Exploration potential areas and mineralisation of critical materials on land and seabed – a collaboration between FRAME and MINDeSEA projects
In addition to the exploration potential on land, oceans represent a potentially promising new frontier for the exploration of mineral resources. The seabed host large resources of important metals like cobalt, lithium, tellurium, manganese, and the rare earth elements. A bilateral collaboration between WP3 in the FRAME project and MINDeSEA project (another GeoERA Raw material project), has been carried out and maps on metallogenic areas and data on the mineralisation on land and European Seabed are produced.
This is FRAME
The FRAME project (Forecasting and assessing Europe’s strategic raw materials needs) is part of the GeoERA Raw Materials Theme and is working with increasing the knowledge about critical raw materials. The aim is to better understand mineral potential and prospectivity of areas within the EU. The goal will be to use this knowledge to find areas in the EU where there is potential to find mineral resources.
Last reviewed 2021-11-10