Mineral resources in life cycle impact assessment—defining the path forward

Originally, Life Cycle Assessment used estimates of total crustal content to calculate how many years’ worth of natural resource existed. Later, practitioners began limiting existing stocks to those identified by the United States Geological Survey in its annual Commodity Summaries. (See, for example the EU's Product Environmental Footprint resources). Because of the nature of the equations used, LCA results are highly sensitive to these differences in assumed total stock of abiotic resources. There is increasing international consensus that this aspect of Life Cycle Impact Assessment is truly broken and in need of an entire re-think.

More recently, several researchers have suggested that metal production has peaked, that resources will be depleted within decades and that declining ore grades can be used to forecast a time when mining will no longer be viable. This has underlined a lack of cross-disciplinary understanding of Mineral Economics.

In a new peer-reviewed publication, "Mineral resources in life cycle impact assessment—defining the path forward", we have come forward with probably the first globally coordinated mining industry contribution to the last twenty years of research into resource assessment in Life Cycle Thinking.

In the paper (which is freely available for download), exploration, geology, and economic experts from the global mining industry provide recommendations to ensure that future research into mineral resource assessment has a sound basis and that practitioners can utilize more appropriate tools for their work.

The paper's findings were recently debated at an International Workshop co-hosted by the Natural History Museum London (follow link for access to all presentations).

A Cross-Sector Guide for Implementing the Mitigation Hierarchy

The publication is aimed at environmental professionals working in, or with, extractive industries and financial institutions, who are responsible for overseeing the application of the mitigation hierarchy to biodiversity conservation, while balancing conservation needs with development priorities. The cross-sector approach  was essential in building an understanding about what good practice looks like.

The publication can be downloaded from the CSBI website [http://www.csbi.org.uk/tools-and-guidance/]

Annual Report 2014

Euromines Annual Report 2014 is now available. The theme of this year’s Annual Report is  based  on Euromines Raw Materials Campaign and includes three main chapters covering the topics Euromines deals with throughout the year. The first part focuses on sustainable supply of raw materials, sector competitiveness and new European Industrial Policy. The second chapter highlights the human factor and focuses on mining employment, local communities, innovation and health and safety. The third part describes a number of achievements in the fields of environment and energy.

In his foreword, Euromines president Mr. Mark Rachovides states,  "Euromines strives very hard to inform and advance knowledge and debate on our industry to show its true role in Europe’s future." We believe this Annual Report will contribute to this.

Mining Weekly article, May 22–28, 2015

Mining Renaissance
European mining seemingly regaining lost lustre as at least one mine opens each year since 2008.

Article published in Mining Weekly in May 2015.

 

Mining in Europe toward 2020

The presentation of Euromines President "Mining in Europe toward 2020" at EUMICON Conference "We design the future" in Linz, Austria, 5 - 6 May 2015

Mineral Policy in Poland

To improve national mineral policies or to develop new ones, especially in newer EU members like Poland (Assumptions for the Action Plan in the field of security of Polish non-energy raw materials has been approved by the Ministry of Economy in March 2015 )  the best practice guidance developed by a Commission/Member States expert group including interdisciplinary knowledge on economic, environmental, social and legal aspects can help the valuation of existing and potential mineral resources in EU. 

Euromines Newsletter - December 2014

European Projects in the Pipeline

  • Editorial
  • The Minerals4EU Project − The first pan-European network on raw materials management
  • Building Opportunity: Growing Gold Mining in Greece
  • LKAB develops Europe's biggest iron ore project
  • Boliden expands its exploration portfolio
  • Colt Resources helping to boost the country’s economic recovery

An International Overview of Mining Politics

The presentation of Euromines President "An International Overview of Mining Politics" at CBI Living with Minerals 5 Conference in London on 17th November 2014.

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