Although the crisis has temporarily curbed demand, the whole world is consuming more and more mineral resources, starting with metals. The economic development of emerging countries, such as China in particular, and of all industrialised countries in general, is closely dependent on increasingly expensive or risky imports, as even the most abundant and easily accessible deposits tend to run out sooner or later.
1 November 2009
Cover of the thematic file

Cover of the thematic file.


Meeting the challenge of this global issue

Europe, one of the world's leading consumers of mineral resources, needs to develop knowledge both about the deposits in its subsurface well below the first 100 metres and the deposits to be found in surface outcrops. Its deep subsurface still has an unexplored potential of major metal ore deposits. 

BRGM has the essential skills to help public authorities embark on this ambitious programme, building on more than a century of knowledge and know-how in locating, characterising, visualising and assessing mineral resources in their economic, human and ecological environments.

The earth's subsurface is the reservoir of 4 major families of minerals, all irreplaceable and indispensable for economic and industrial development: construction materials (sand, gravel, etc.), industrial minerals (talc, clay, limestone, phosphates, sulphur, etc.), energy materials (oil, uranium, coal, lignite, peat, etc.) and metalliferous minerals (iron, chromium, lead, zinc, copper, manganese, rare metals, etc.). Gems and precious stones can be added to this list.

Geoscience challenges