MPA supports Living with Minerals 5 conference
Merits of UK Minerals Strategy debated and attention drawn to economic contribution of the minerals industry
THE Mineral Products Association (MPA) played an active and supporting role at the CBI Minerals Group’s ‘Living with Minerals 5’ (LWM5) conference in London on Monday 17 November. With the theme ‘Towards a UK Minerals Strategy’, the conference debated the merits of a UK Minerals Strategy, as well as drawing attention to the essential contribution of the minerals industry to the UK economy and our quality of life.
New findings launched at the event revealed that:
- Minerals extraction generates a turnover of £5.3 billion, and £1.6 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA)
- UK minerals, including products manufacture and direct markets, generate a GVA of £217 billion, 15% of the total UK economy
- The minerals industry directly employs 37,000 people, and supports 3.2 million jobs through its supply chain.
Given the economic importance of the sector and the fact it is a long-term industry, where it typically takes five to 15 years to get from site identification to production, a long-term UK Minerals Strategy is seen as key. The recent BIS select committee report on ‘The Extractive Industries’ recommends the development of a ‘domestic extractives plan’ with a BIS Minister responsible.
Nigel Jackson, chief executive MPA and chair of the CBI Minerals Group, said: ‘Industry wants to lead the development of a minerals strategy. We are not seeking government resources or money, but we are hoping for stronger and more material government policy recognition and support.
‘Mineral supplies are critical to national infrastructure, the built environment and the economy, and strategic thinking is needed to help strengthen the sector’s resilience to a complex and uncertain future.
‘Our industry is now better organized, aligned, equipped and less fragmented, and the UK Minerals Forum brings together all key stakeholders and enables us to test the key issues in a constructive way.’
The LWM5 conference was a full day event featuring high-profile speakers from government, industry and academia, including: Iain Stewart, Professor of Geosciences Communications at he School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, and a leading TV presenter on geosciences; Sir Mark Walport, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser; Ruth Stanier, Director of Planning at DCLG; and John Cridland CBE, Director General of the CBI.
The MPA is represented on the CBI Minerals Group (CBIMG), which brings together all land-won extraction interests, including coal, industrial and construction minerals.