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Mineral grades: an important indicator for environmental impact of mineral exploitation
Projekt-Consult GmbH, Hamburg, Germany.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
Öko-Institut e.V., Darmstadt, Germany.
RMG Consulting, Täby, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: Mineral Economics, ISSN 2191-2203, E-ISSN 2191-2211, Vol. 32, no 1, p. 49-73Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We have collected and analysed grade information for nine metals: copper, gold, iron, lead, manganese, nickel, PGM, tin, and zinc. Based on this analysis, we have developed a proposal of “grade classes”, i.e., what could be considered low-grade, average-grade, and high-grade deposits for all these metals. We discuss the implications of possible developments into the future of the grades of ores, from which these metals are extracted. A focus on high-grade deposits will naturally reduce the environmental impact of mining. For six metals (copper, gold, iron, nickel, PGM, and zinc), we have further analysed the volumes available for the 10% cohort of projects and operating mines with the highest grades. Three metals (iron, PGM, and zinc) show considerable volumes, between 15 and 20% of total metal content in resources in this high-grade percentile. Copper and gold have between 5 and 10% while nickel has only 1.7% in the highest 10% grade percentile.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019. Vol. 32, no 1, p. 49-73
Keywords [en]
Ore grades, Environmental impact, Mineral availability, Mineral deposits
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-73816DOI: 10.1007/s13563-018-00168-xISI: 000464850300004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85064341395OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-73816DiVA, id: diva2:1313158
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 2;2019-05-02 (johcin)

Available from: 2019-05-02 Created: 2019-05-02 Last updated: 2019-05-02Bibliographically approved

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Ericsson, Magnus

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