BIOCriticalMetals – Recognition of microbial functional communities and assessment of the mineralizing potential (bioleaching) for high-tech critical metals

A secure supply of mineral rawmaterials for European industry is absolutely necessary to secure Europe’sprosperity and improvethe quality of life of European citizens. In thelast decade a structural change has taken place in global mineral markets. The old rule of thumb – 20 percent of the world population in Europe, USA and Japan consuming more than 80 percent of the total minerals production – is not valid any more1. With the integration of India, the People’s Republic of China and other populouse merging countries like Brazil and Russia in to the world economy, today more than half of theworld’spopulationclaims an in creasingsh are in raw materials.

Thusthe global demand for raw materialsst ands at the bottom of a new growth curve. The “Integrated Industrial Policy for the Globalisation Era, Putting Competitiveness and Sustainability at Centre Stage”2 Communicationsets out a strategy that aimstoboost growth and jobs bymaintainingand supporting a strong, diversified and competitive industrial base in Europe. The core message of the Communicationist hatindustry must beplaced centre stageif Europe istoremain a global economic leader.

Recent European initiative shavepioneered the development of an EU strategy on raw material semphasizingthe concept of the “added value chain”, pursuing the threepillar strategyto: (1) ensurethe fair and sustainable supply of raw materials from international markets, promoting international cooperation with developed and developing countries; (2) foster sustainable supply of raw materials from European sources, and (3) reduce consumption of primary raw materials by increasingre source efficiency and promoting recycling.