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Romania advances mining code amendments to harness critical materials amid environmental considerations

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The Romanian government has approved amendments to the Mining Code to facilitate the reopening of non-energy mining operations, announced Economy Minister Radu Oprea on Friday.

The decree integrates provisions into Romanian law aimed at enabling the exploitation of critical materials, foreseeing a future surge in demand for rare earths.

Oprea emphasized the importance of utilizing environmentally friendly technologies to mitigate pollution concerns, addressing existing environmental issues in Romania related to settling ponds and landfills.

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Furthermore, the reopening of mining operations for critical materials will involve engagement from local community representatives.

However, the government acknowledges uncertainty regarding specific locations for resuming critical minerals mining.

Oprea noted, “We understand that where there is gold, for example, there are also other rare metals. Currently, we do not know the concentration or quantity, but the new law enables us to conduct analyses and assessments to determine these factors.”

Critical raw materials hold significant economic importance for the EU, given their susceptibility to supply disruptions due to concentrated sources and limited substitutes.

The Critical Raw Materials Act aims to bolster the EU’s strategic autonomy by expanding and diversifying the supply of these materials, promoting circularity through recycling, and fostering research and innovation in resource efficiency and alternative development

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