Europe’s Mining RenaissanceStijn van Baarle

Massive investments are being made in clean technologies in hopes of "saving the planet." Yet all these technical gadgets rely on critical metals and markets dominated by only a handful of countries.  Moreover, all that mining and processing is often done in socially and environmentally irresponsible ways. This documentary exposes the economic, ecological, (geo)political and social consequences of that paradox. To what extent could Europe take over the mining of such metals? And what about the Sami, the indigenous people in the far North, who oppose this mining for "energy transition metals."?

Metal mining is a critical component for manufacturing clean technologies to enable the transition to a climate-neutral economy. Metals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper and rare earths are the core components to manufacture batteries, wind turbines and electric vehicles. Currently, the European market relies almost entirely on mining and refining the required metals from a handful of countries. This is where the ecological and (geo-)political discussion occurs: why doesn't Europe takes the mining of such metals into its own hands? It's possible on paper: Europe does have significant geological reserves of those metals. Especially in the far North where there's plenty of copper, nickel and rare earth metals, but these areas are home to the Sami, whose lifestyle is endangered. Is Europe prepared to open energy transition mines on its own soil?  And what will be the social, environmental and cultural consequences for the Sami?

This film is part of...


For the second year in a row, ScienceVille presents recent scientific documentaries that really must be seen. There are also panel discussions, workshops, debates, ScienceVille for Kids, the award for Best Scientific Documentary and the visit of Nobel Prize winner Prof. Kip Thorne. ScienceVille is back, and how!

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Directed by Stijn van Baarle
2024 46 min.
Subtitles: Dutch




Stijn van Baarle


Stijn van Baarle, Peter Tom Jones


Jérôme Demeyere, Michael Van de Velde


Jasper Van der Elst

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