Unresolved Complexity in Assessments of Mineral Resource Depletion and Availability

Northey, S, Mudd, G and Werner, T 2018, 'Unresolved Complexity in Assessments of Mineral Resource Depletion and Availability', Natural Resources Research, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 241-255.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Unresolved Complexity in Assessments of Mineral Resource Depletion and Availability
Author(s) Northey, S
Mudd, G
Werner, T
Year 2018
Journal name Natural Resources Research
Volume number 27
Issue number 2
Start page 241
End page 255
Total pages 15
Publisher Springer
Abstract Considerations of mineral resource availability and depletion form part of a diverse array of sustainable development-oriented studies, across domains such as resource criticality, life cycle assessment and material flow analysis. Given the multidisciplinary nature of these studies, it is important that a common understanding of the complexity and nuances of mineral supply chains be developed. In this paper, we provide a brief overview of these assessment approaches and expand on several areas that are conceptually difficult to account for in these studies. These include the dynamic nature of relationships between reserves, resources, cut-off grades and ore grades; the ability to account for local economic, social and environmental factors when performing global assessments; and the role that technology improvements play in increasing the availability of economically extractable mineral resources. Advancing knowledge in these areas may further enhance the sophistication and interpretation of studies that assess mineral resource depletion or availability. © 2017, International Association for Mathematical Geosciences.
Subject Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Criticality assessment
Life cycle assessment
Material flow analysis
Mineral resource depletion
Ore grades
Resource availability
DOI - identifier 10.1007/s11053-017-9352-5
Copyright notice © 2017, International Association for Mathematical Geosciences.
ISSN 1520-7439
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