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Article

Resource Security Strategies and Their Environmental and Economic Implications: A Case Study of Copper Production in Japan

1
Graduate School of Energy Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto 6068501, Japan
2
International Institute for Carbon Neutral Energy Research, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 8190395, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(15), 3021; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12153021
Received: 25 June 2019 / Revised: 19 July 2019 / Accepted: 3 August 2019 / Published: 6 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Low Carbon Technologies and Transition)
Japan is a nation which is highly dependent on the import of raw materials to supply its manufacturing industry, notable among them copper. When extracting copper from ore, a large amount of energy is required, typically leading to high levels of CO2 emissions due to the fossil fuel-dominated energy mix. Moreover, maintaining security of raw material supply is difficult if imports are the only source utilized. This study examines the environmental and economic impacts of domestic mineral production from the recycling of end-of-life products and deep ocean mining as strategies to reduce CO2 emissions and enhance security of raw material supplies. The results indicate that under the given assumptions, recycling, which is typically considered to be less CO2 intensive, produces higher domestic emissions than current copper processing, although across the whole supply chain shows promise. As the total quantity of domestic resources from deep ocean ores are much smaller than the potential from recycling, it is possible that recycling could become a mainstream supply alternative, while deep ocean mining is more likely to be a niche supply source. Implications of a progressively aging society and flow-on impacts for the recycling sector are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: resource security; domestic mineral production; input-output analysis; environmental assessment; transition resource security; domestic mineral production; input-output analysis; environmental assessment; transition
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MDPI and ACS Style

Motoori, R.; McLellan, B.; Chapman, A.; Tezuka, T. Resource Security Strategies and Their Environmental and Economic Implications: A Case Study of Copper Production in Japan. Energies 2019, 12, 3021. https://doi.org/10.3390/en12153021

AMA Style

Motoori R, McLellan B, Chapman A, Tezuka T. Resource Security Strategies and Their Environmental and Economic Implications: A Case Study of Copper Production in Japan. Energies. 2019; 12(15):3021. https://doi.org/10.3390/en12153021

Chicago/Turabian Style

Motoori, Ran, Benjamin McLellan, Andrew Chapman, and Tetsuo Tezuka. 2019. "Resource Security Strategies and Their Environmental and Economic Implications: A Case Study of Copper Production in Japan" Energies 12, no. 15: 3021. https://doi.org/10.3390/en12153021

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