Long-time value creation
Throughout history, minerals and rocks have been important for Society. Already in the Stone Age, "factories" produced highly specialized weapons and tools from the rocks available. Thousands of years ago, soapstone was used to form pans, molds and domestic utensils. As early as 1300 years before the Vikings and up to the early 20th century, large quarries were excavated for material need to manufacture millstones.
The history of mining history in Norway, is a long chapter on its own. Since the 16th century the mining of metals was a source of wealth in cities and trading places across this country. Røros and Løkken are examples of mines that were in production for several hundred years, and contain resources that may be recovered in the future. Although these ore mines are closed today, there were still 6000 jobs across the country back in the 20th century, jobs that were related to mining manufacturing minerals and stone construction materials.
The extraction of domestic resources and imports from abroad, significantly expands all value chains that are based on raw mineral resources. Direct processing of raw materials provides almost ten times more value than what could be attained by simply extracting materials. In addition, value is created in the industries involved with the manufacturing of products containing the same raw materials.
Although the processing limestone to make cement provides relatively little employment in Norway, it is still easy to understand how important processing activities are within the mineral value chain. In Europe, 70 percent of all the value chains start at the level of a mine or a quarry. We estimate that about 30 million jobs in the EU depend on mineral raw materials. A disruption of the supply of raw mineral will have major consequences for the value chain, therefore, large industrial companies often position themselves to achieve and maintain control over raw mineral supplies.
Long-term planning is essential for many mines and quarries and the communities around them. That's why we see a growing trend for companies to plan with a 100-year perspective.