Next Article in Journal
Comparing Approaches for the Integration of Stakeholder Perspectives in Environmental Decision Making
Previous Article in Journal
Electronic Waste and Existing Processing Routes: A Canadian Perspective
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Resources 2016, 5(4), 36; doi:10.3390/resources5040036

Decreasing Ore Grades in Global Metallic Mining: A Theoretical Issue or a Global Reality?

1
Research Centre for Energy Resources and Consumption (CIRCE)—Universidad de Zaragoza, CIRCE Building—Campus Río Ebro, Mariano Esquillor Gómez, 15, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain
2
Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Wellington Rd, Clayton VIC 3800, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Benjamin C McLellan
Received: 29 September 2016 / Revised: 21 October 2016 / Accepted: 27 October 2016 / Published: 7 November 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3603 KB, uploaded 7 November 2016]   |  

Abstract

Mining industry requires high amounts of energy to extract and process resources, including a variety of concentration and refining processes. Using energy consumption information, different sustainability issues can be addressed, such as the relationship with ore grade over the years, energy variations in electricity or fossil fuel use. A rigorous analysis and understanding of the energy intensity use in mining is the first step towards a more sustainable mining industry and, globally, better resource management. Numerous studies have focused on the energy consumption of mining projects, with analysis carried out primarily in one single country or one single region. This paper quantifies, on a global level, the relationship between ore grade and energy intensity. With the case of copper, the study has shown that the average copper ore grade is decreasing over time, while the energy consumption and the total material production in the mine increases. Analyzing only copper mines, the average ore grade has decreased approximately by 25% in just ten years. In that same period, the total energy consumption has increased at a higher rate than production (46% energy increase over 30% production increase). View Full-Text
Keywords: energy intensity; energy use; mining; ore grade energy intensity; energy use; mining; ore grade
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Calvo, G.; Mudd, G.; Valero, A.; Valero, A. Decreasing Ore Grades in Global Metallic Mining: A Theoretical Issue or a Global Reality? Resources 2016, 5, 36.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Resources EISSN 2079-9276 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top