In 2018, the IMA-Europe Recognition Awards was granted to outstanding projects that bring significant contributions to Innovation, Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services and Public Awareness, Acceptance & Trust.





The IMA-Europe Award Scheme  

Every two years, since 2006, IMA-Europe issues its prestigious Recognition Award. Symbolic in nature, it is a much valued token of recognition. It allows for the promotion and exchange of best practices. IMA-Europe is thereby assisted by an independent expert Jury.

The IMA-Europe 2018 Recognition Awards were granted to outstanding projects that bring significant contributions to: Health & Safety, Innovation, Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services and Public Awareness, Acceptance & Trust. The Award themes are linked to EU policy objectives, supporting notably the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials and the EU Biodiversity Strategy.

The winners of the IMA-Europe Recognition Awards to date can be viewed when scrolling down.

Resources on the 2016 IMA Europe Awards: photos, videoFlipbook of 2016 Award projects, Press Release

Resources on the 2018 IMA Europe Awards: Flipbook of 2018 Award projects



2018 Award for Innovation
Imerys Filtration Minerals Inc. - Volcano to Vector Control
Imerys Filtration Minerals Inc. – Winner of the IMA-Europe 2018 Award on Innovation with the project “Volcano to Vector Control”
Challenge: More than half the world’s population is exposed to the risk of mosquito (vector) borne diseases, including malaria, dengue, zika, chikungunya, etc. Today, malaria kills around 450,000 people each year with 90% of the deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa, with children under 5 years old and pregnant women at the highest risk. Population growth, urbanisation rates and climate change are mega trends impacting how mosquitoes are evolving to  develop insecticide resistance that is compromising the success of existing vector control interventions.
Outcome: Imergard TM WP is the 1st known application of an industrial mineral for mosquito control. The active ingredient of Imergard TM WP, perlite, is not known to have insecticidal properties and has never been used in public health to control mosquito vectors. The development of Imergard TM WP addresses a critical unmet need: 
  • mosquitoes have developed resistance to many of the traditional chemical controls (e.g. pyrethroids, organochlorine, carbamates & organophosphates) that are used to control mosquito vectors;
  • When applied as an indoor spray, it introduces a new mode of action to reduce incidences of malaria; the disease pathogens transmitted by the African malaria mosquito (Anopheles gambiae); 
  • The potential for Imergard WP to be supplied through a consumer retail model puts the power to control mosquitoes in the homeowner’s hands and can relieve the dependence on national, provincial or district management  programs.
2018 Award for Public Awareness, Acceptance & Trust
Lhoist Germany/Rheinkalk - New Time Tunnel Wülfrath
Lhoist Germany/Rheinkalk – Winner of the IMA-Europe 2018 Award for Public Awareness, Acceptance & Trust with the project “New Time Tunnel Wülfrath”

Challenge: Enhance local engagement to inform and educate the public on the generation of the limestone deposits and their relevance for our daily lives. The projects aims at explaining the use of lime in our daily life and showing the work in active quarry operations, the industrial history of limestone mining.

Outcome: In the old 160-meter-long former mining tunnel of the Bochumer Bruch, 400 million years of geological history can be experienced with all the senses. On this journey, visitors will meet unusual creatures, dinosaurs and the first humans, observe the shift of the continents and the many fossils in the showcases, and experience the minimal period of industrial history of lime mining, which has shaped the landscape to this day. The Lhoist social engagement is  positively received by local authorities and in public media. It is seen as an important contribution to the presentation of the region to the public. The Zeittunnel attracts around 12,000 visitors during a full season, thanks to its mixture of a unique exhibition venue with an entertaining presentation of geological history, a wide range of activities for children and adults, as well as an ambitious program of events. 

2018 Award for Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services
Sibelco Belgium/UK/Netherlands - Heathland Restoration in a whole-of-life approach
Sibelco Belgium/UK/Netherlands – Winner of the IMA-Europe 2018 Award for Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services with the project “Heathland Restoration in a whole-of-life approach”
Challenge: Heathland restoration is an important aspect of Sibelco’s whole-of-life approach for making closed quarries & passive assets a legacy to Nature, testified by many projects in quarries all over Europe (e.g. Belgium, UK, France, Netherlands). In its quarries Sibelco prone heathland protection and restoration in a whole-of-life approach (through which Sibelco manages its impact on the environment throughout all its operations: before, during and after).
  • Protection and restoration of heathland in quarry areas after exploitation counteract biodiversity loss. Heathlands play a crucial role in the traditional European landscape, adding to many ecosystem services, such as food and  water supply, landscape conservation and historical nature.
  • Maintaining and restoring heathland areas requires appropriate active management such as grazing, control of invasive species, etc. and therefore exchange of expertise, experience and knowledge with scientists, nature  associations, authorities, local communities is important and necessary.
  • Threatened plants and animals are attracted and start colonizing thanks to heathland restoration.
  • It increases awareness through information boards, site visits and synergies with community groups, authorities, environmental associations and scientific researchers involved.
  • Through heathland protection and restoration, business gives back to nature and to neighbor communities, creating and enforcing bridges with stakeholders.

2018 JURY

Ángels Orduña

Àngels Orduña is the A.SPIRE’s Executive director since 2017 ( She is a seasoned EU and international collaboration leader with proven track record championing success in technology and business development through multi-partner, multi-country and multidisciplinary collaboration. With an academic background in International Relations, she has managed and led a number of RDI projects in the EU and Canada in technology areas related to value chain productions and enabling technologies such as ICT, energy, renewables, environment, advanced materials or manufacturing. She has shown great ability to translate technological concepts to market opportunities and to link partners’ commitment through a win-win perspective.

Peter Handley
DG GROW, European Commission

Peter Handley is the Head of Unit for Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials in the European Commission's Directorate-General for Growth. Before joining DG GROW in September 2017, he was Head of the Resource Efficiency Unit at the Secretariat-General, where he was responsible for coordination of the Energy Union, 2030 climate and energy package, low emission mobility strategy and the circular economy. 

Dr Karen Hanghøj
EIT Raw Materials

Dr Karen Hanghøj is Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director of EIT RawMaterials (


Professor Dr Grégory Mahy
Gembloux Agro-BioTech Universityof Liège

A Doctor in Ecology from the UCL, Grégory Mahy works as a professor teaching biodiversity management at the Gembloux Agro-BioTech University of Liège, as well as at the Free University of Brussels (ULB). He leads a research team and projects on themes such as the characterization of evolutionary and ecological mechanisms responsible for biodiversity conservation in anthropogenic and natural landscapes, the development of innovative strategies for the management and valorization of biodiversity in the natural and anthropogenic eco-systems (quarries, urban environments …). Since 5 years, he coordinates the Landscape Architects Master programme, unique in Belgium.

Professor Dr. Karel Van Acker
KU Leuven

Karel Van Acker is senior lecturer in sustainable materials and processes, coordinator of the KU Leuven Materials Research Centre and Promotor-Coordinator of the policy research centre Sustainable Materials Management. He chairs the Flemish Transition Network on Sustainable Materials Management and is involved in numerous projects on sustainability assessments of material life cycles, ranging from CFRP to biobased plastics, and on urban mining and the valorisation of residues. He graduated as M.Sc. in materials engineering and obtained a PhD degree in materials science, both from KU Leuven. After his PhD (1996), he worked during several years in industry as manager of a materials and mechanical testing laboratory and at the Flemish Institute for Technological Research. He joined KU Leuven at the end of 2005.

Dr Tilmann Disselhoff

In 2004, Tilmann graduated "cum laude" as a Civil Engineer in Landscape Planning at the Technical University of Berlin and received a scholarship in the post-graduate Programme for International Affairs of the Robert Bosch Foundation and the German National Academic Foundation. Since 2006, he has worked as a consultant for the European Commission, the German Federal Environmental Ministry and the German Federal Environmental Foundation. He has over five years of experience as a LIFE-Nature application evaluator. In recent years, Tilmann has focused on conservation financing and private land conservation. Since 2012, he has been acting as coordinator for the National Network for Nature, an umbrella organisation for conservation landowners in Germany. He is the lead coordinator of the ELCN Life Project for the creation of a European  Landowners Conservation Network.

Andras Krolopp
The Nature Conservancy

Andras Krolopp joined the TNC in October, 2012 as Senior Policy Advisor for The Nature Conservancy’s Africa Region. Now he is with the European Program covering European governmental relations with special focus on the EU institutions, Denmark, Finland and Sweden in support of TNC’s conservation and public funding priorities. He is also working on CBD related issues (biodiversity finance) and on the science and policy interface as well as the European Focal Point for the Hydropower strategy.

Prior joining TNC, Andras was working for IUCN (Brussels) first as Deputy Head for the Countdown 2010 Initiative, later as Senior Policy Advisor covering EU biodiversity and regional policies.

Before working for IUCN he was engaged with various NGOs, like the CEEweb (covering Central and Eastern Europe), Global Nature Fund (Germany) and the European Centre for Nature Conservation (Netherlands).

Andras has the MSc in Environmental Management and degrees in Biology and Geography. Besides his Hungarian mother tongue, he speaks English, German and has basic knowledge of Dutch and Russian languages.

Professor Dr Michael Rademacher
University of Applied Sciences Bingen

Prof. Dr. Rademacher teaches at University of Applied Sciences Bingen in Germany. He brings 20 years of expertise in biodiversity management in mining sites, from mapping and monitoring to site rehabilitation and public – private partnerships. He holds a PhD in Ecology and is a specialist in plants, birds, grasshoppers, dragonflies, amphibians, butterflies and bats.


2016 Award on Public Awareness, Acceptance & Trust
Quarzwerke GmbH

Quarzwerke GmbH – Winner of the IMA-Europe 2016 Award on Public Awareness, Acceptance & Trust with the project “Nature and Sand (NaSa) Explorers”

At their Frechen site, Quarzwerke launched in 2014 a successful environmental education project for pupils, including refugee and mentally handicapped children. As “Nature and Sand explorers” (NaSa), the children enjoy exploring local nature, and learning about biodiversity conservation along silica sand extraction. Equipped with an exploration bag and tools, the children go out into the woods & fields, to pools and ponds, and into the laboratory and the quarry. They are guided by Quarzwerke’s biologist and its spokesperson and a specially appointed teacher specialised in providing environmental education for children.

2016 Award on Biodiversity

Sibelco – Winner of the IMA-Europe 2016 Award on Biodiversity with the project “Valuing our natural capital”

Sibelco developed a Natural Capital approach (our quarries) together with a supportive toolkit, to counterbalance negative impacts on nature and that shows that sustainable mining can create great opportunities for nature and biodiversity. Sibelco started to apply it to reference sites throughout Europe. The knowledge and expertise being built in the Reference Sites will be used to inspire other sites. In addition, two Europe wide action programs were launched: a Species Protection Program for pioneer species related to quarry areas, as well as a Calculator for Ecosystem Services (ESS) and Biodiversity based upon specific land use in our quarries (before, during or after mining).

2016 Award on Innovation

Omya – Winner of the IMA-Europe 2016 Award on Innovation with the project “Raise Mining”

Omya GmbH operates several marble quarries within the Styrian mountains. The deposits are small and steep, and the marble layers and amount of waste rock from the foot and hanging wall limit the economical minable volumes. In addition, they are located in a highly sensitive ecological area. Between 2007 and 2010 Omya GmbH developed an underground mine parallel to the existing quarry at the marble deposit Lenhard /Petrasch. The main target of the new underground operation was to extend the raw material supply and ensure an optimal use of the high quality raw material resource. After 6 years of operation, accident free, the underground mine Lenhard/Petrasch with the 'Raise Mining' method is a success in terms of economical, ecological and safety criteria.

2016 Award on Innovation
Imerys Filtration & Performance Additives EMEA

Imerys Filtration & Performance Additives EMEA – Winner of the IMA-Europe 2016 Award on Innovation with the project “ImerCare™ P-Scrub”

The ImerCare™ P-Scrub range has been developed in response to growing demand from the personal care industry and from consumers for a natural, eco-friendly alternative to plastic microbeads used in scrub applications. Too tiny to be removed, the oil-based pellets slip through water treatment systems. Scientists estimate that, in America alone, more than eight trillion of these microbeads—enough to coat 300 tennis courts—enter the water streams each day. Often mistaken for food, they are absorbed by marine life and are passed along the marine food chain. This poses a serious risk to the environment and public health. The ImerCare™ P-Scrub microsphere range is derived from 100% natural perlite, a volcanic rock, and contains no harmful additives, and offers a mineral-based, eco-friendly alternative.

Imerys Filtration and Performance Additives

The IMA-Europe 2014 Recognition Award on Innovation was attributed to the innovative project ImerPlast by Imerys Filtration and Performance Additives - a mineral based solution which enhances the recycling rates for polymers. According to the Jury, “This project proposes a timely solution to an urgent and vast challenge”.

Approximately 25 million metric tons of plastic waste is generated in Europe every year, out of which less than 25% are recycled. Only quite pure or easily sortable sources of polymers can be recycled. The Imerplast project brings a mineral-based solution to compatibilise mixed plastics (mixed polyolefins) and transform abundant, cheap waste streams into useful recycled polymer/ mineral composites. This project will change the current recycling paradigm (i.e. the need to sort intensively) in the long run. And will contribute the energy (for processing and recycling) conservation and the carbon emission reduction along the value chain. More information on this award-winning project is available at

The 2014 IMA-Europe Recognition Award Ceremony took place on 23 September 2014 on the occasion of the IMA-Europe 20th Anniversary celebrations in Brussels. Mr Mattia Pellegrini, Head of Cabinet for the European Commissioner ad interim of Industry and Enterprise presided the Award Ceremony. Other members of the independent jury consisted of Professor Dr Karel van Acker, Senior lecturer at KU Leuven, and Griet Verhaert from the Government of Flanders. Press release IMA 2014 Awards

Imerys Minerals Ltd (UK)

The IMA 2014 Recognition Award on Public Awareness, Acceptance and Trust was granted to Imerys Minerals Ltd in the UK for their project “Building Trust with Communities”.

The Imerys Community Engagement initiative represents the company's ongoing commitment to the communities in which it operates. It demonstrates a wide variety of activities and opportunities that ensure it continues to engage and build strong, trusting relationships with its neighbours, in and around operations. According to Mattia Pelegrini, President of the Jury: “This project clearly shows huge efforts and a strong commitment by the company for creating true partnerships with the local communities during the lifetime of a quarry”.

Dr Michelle Wyart-Remy

A Special IMA Recognition Award was handed on behalf of the IMA Europe Board to its Secretary General, Dr Michelle Wyart-Remy, for a lifelong career dedicated to the industrial minerals sector. The Award was handed by former IMA-Europe President Claude Stenneler, and one of the founding fathers of IMA-Europe.

S&B Industrial Minerals S.A.

S&B Industrial Minerals S.A. (Now Imerys Greece) was the Winner of the IMA-Europe 2012 Recognition Award. Their project, illustrating how the company has succeeded in reducing overall energy consumption by exploiting Milos island climate conditions for bentonite pre-drying, was considered by all Jury members as an outstanding project that promotes the wise use of minerals as a route to efficiency and sustainable progress.

Every year around 1,200,000 MTs of bentonite are mined on Milos Island by S&B and almost all of that quantity has to be dried to about 15% on average. Approximately 35% energy savings are achieved by exploiting Milos’ climatic conditions for the natural pre-drying of bentonite in open fields.

In the presence of MEP Jo Leinen, MEP Paul Rübig, and Jury Members Professor Martens (President of the Jury) and Mr Johnson (editor of Parliament Magazine), the IMA President Thierry Salmona proudly handed the IMA-Europe 2012 Recognition Award to Thomas Androulakis, Group Sustainable Development Manager of S&B Industrial Minerals. 


Regione Lombardia

The Regione Lombardia, Mining Department, has won the IMA 2010 Award for its substantial efforts in increasing the awareness of the importance of the extractive industry, not only for the Lombardia region itself but taking the idea of a sustainable mining culture to national level: through an Agreement signed with the Ministry of Economic Development, the partners aim to stimulate a national planning for raw materials, develop a land planning policy to preserve the future mining areas, promote the recovery and valorisation of abandoned mine sites, and promote and develop training activities for local administrations employees.  These activities are supported with initiatives of education, training, communication and research designed for mineral operators and civil servants. This successful strategy has made Lombardia a reference point for the other regions.

“We are proud to hand the 2010 IMA Recognition Award to the Mining Department of the Regione Lombardia,” says Thierry Salmona, IMA Europe President. “Their commitment and cooperative approach between regional and central government mining policies is exemplary for Europe and perfectly in line with the EU Raw Materials Initiative.” The Award Ceremony took place on 9 November 2010 at the occasion of the IMA Europe 2010 Conference in Brussels.

2010 Special Award
Sebastian Winkler & Countdown 2010 (IUCN)

In 2010, a Special Award was issued to Mr Sebastian Winkler and to IUCN for the Countdown 2010 Initiative. In his capacity of project leader (Head of the Countdown 2010 Secretariat), Mr Winkler inspired many businesses to look at how they could contribute to biodiversity conservation by integrating biodiversity considerations into their operations. The Countdown 2010 Platform also allowed for a constructive dialogue between industry and NGOs. Sebastian’s inspiring leadership and vision of this project lead amongst others to IMA Europe signing the Countdown 2010 Declaration in 2008. And IMA Europe could count on Countdown 2010 support, such as on the European Minerals Day 2009 event. On 9 November 2010, Mr Hans Friederich, IUCN Regional Director Pan-Europe, receptioned the Special Award on behalf of IUCN, the organisation behind the Countdown 2010 project, whereas Sebastian received one for his personal commitment and inspiring leadership.

Rheinland Regional Council (LVR)

The Rhineland Regional Council / Landschaftsverband Rheinland (LVR) won the IMA 2008 Award for their efforts in raising awareness about the importance of industrial minerals in their region. They produced documentary films illustrating the mining activities and its human aspects as well as how the different minerals find their application in every day products. The LVR films, which have been presented to the public, were acknowledged by the German Ministry of Education for their significant educational effects and influence. Two recent examples are: Blau brennt Gelb - Tonbergbau im Rheinland (About plastic clay mining, 2007) and Kalkstein – ein rheinischer Rohstoff (About lime).  

The Award Ceremony took place on 11 September 2008 at La Bibliothèque Solvay in Brussels at the occasion of the IMA Conference Gala Dinner. Dr Jürgen Wilhelm, President of the Rhineland Regional Assembly accepted the Award out of the hands of the IMA President, Mr Claude Stenneler (see photo).

Forum Rohstoffe & WWF Austria

The very first IMA-Europe Award was attributed to the Austrian branch of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and Forum Rohstoffe[1] for their joint efforts to raise awareness about industrial minerals and the biodiversity on and around rehabilitated quarries. The Award Ceremony took place on 6 September, on the eve of IMA-Europe’s 2006 Conference, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg under the patronage of MEP Malcolm Harbour and in the presence of Mr Giles Chichester MEP and Chairman of the EP Industry Committee.

“The collaboration between the Austrian trade association and the Austrian World Wildlife Fund for Nature is quite unique,” says Claude Stenneler, IMA President. “The 2006 award winners worked very hard during the 9-year project to promote awareness of quarry sites and the biodiversity that can be found on them. They have co-developed educational materials for schools, and produced a TV documentary, “Trails in the Sand”, on biodiversity at restored quarries which often provide new habitats for rare species. Their projects throw a different and positive light on the mining sector, and this is what we need to promote. We are therefore very proud and honoured that the first IMA Award is going to them. We hope their initiatives will inspire others.”

“Forum Rohstoffe is very honoured of having been chosen as the first IMA Award winners, and we are very pleased to receive this award together with our friends from WWF-Austria. It represents a wonderful recognition of our nine-years-old cooperation in environmental matters”, Carl Hennrich adds.The aggregates industry is absolutely not one of the founding members of the green movement, but we try to learn daily. Our environment needs to be protected, today more then ever. A large majority of our companies is aware of the fact that we as quarry owners have the possibility to contribute to the improvement on nature conservation and are making efforts to protect nature and especially species included in the red list of endangered flora and fauna. We are convinced of having produced a win-win situation.” (see also

[1] Forum Rohstoffe is a division of the Fachverband der Stein- und Keramischen Industrie Österreichs e.V.