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Special Issue "Raw Materials and Circular Economy: Concepts and Evidence"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2022) | Viewed by 4460

Special Issue Editors

Dr. George Banias
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Bio-Economy and Agri-Technology, Centre for Research and Technology, Hellas, Thermi, 57001 Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: environmental impact assessment; life cycle analysis; waste management and circular economy; sustainability; environmental informatics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Konstantinos N. Kontogiannopoulos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, School of Chemical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: nanotechnology; natural products; drug delivery systems; pharmaceutical technology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Evangelos Tzamos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: mineralogy and geochemistry of ore deposits; field geology; mineral resources; critical raw materials; mining wastes; byproducts; materials characterization; circular economy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The establishment of a sustainable supply chain for raw materials is among the most emerging priorities in modern societies. The majority of critical and valuable raw materials with direct impact in renewable energy generation, high-technology applications, and industrial processes are those produced by mining activities. As a traditional economy sector, metal and mineral exploration and processing meets many challenges in adopting a new approach toward environmental neutrality, the optimization of energy, the efficient use of resources, and circular economy practices and approaches. In particular, the fields of interest involve the design of novel mining and metallurgical processes, new methods for mineral exploration, incorporation of digital technologies, exploitation of secondary products or wastes through innovative products, end-of-life recycling, and long-term environmental safety.

In this context, the aim of this Special Issue is to collect new ideas on the possible engagement of mining and metallurgical processes with sustainability development goals through evidence derived by high-impact research studies and assessment approaches. Moreover, in this Special Issue, we aspire to present a selection of original and innovative papers highlighting the most challenging aspects relating to the comprehensive integration of life cycle thinking in mining and metallurgical processes. Concepts, challenges, perspectives, and opportunities will shed light on the dynamic and forward-looking nature of environmental impact assessment tools especially in light of the sustainable development goals and the priorities of raw materials in the circular economy. Successful paradigms of environmental impact assessment methodology and LCA application on specific case studies in the mining and metallurgical industry are also welcomed.

The Special Issue will also welcome selected papers on related topics from “The International Conference on Raw Materials and Circular Economy” (RawMat2021, www.rawmat2021.gr).

Dr. George Banias
Dr. Konstantinos Kontogiannopoulos
Dr. Evangelos Tzamos
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mining
  • metallurgy
  • circular economy
  • life cycle analysis and thinking
  • environmental impact assessment
  • sustainability

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
The Importance and Challenges of Sustainable Development for the Raw Materials Sector: The Views of Key Stakeholders in Three ESEE Countries
Sustainability 2022, 14(7), 3933; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14073933 - 26 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 993
Abstract
The raw materials (RM) sector is linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and it impacts their implementation, in a positive or adverse manner, throughout the whole RM value chain (e.g., mining, processing, metallurgy, recycling, etc.). This study aims to identify and rank [...] Read more.
The raw materials (RM) sector is linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and it impacts their implementation, in a positive or adverse manner, throughout the whole RM value chain (e.g., mining, processing, metallurgy, recycling, etc.). This study aims to identify and rank the SDGs that are classified as more significant for this sector, according to the views of key stakeholders, university students, academics, professionals, and industry representatives, in three East and South-East Europe (ESEE) countries: Greece, Poland, and Slovakia. Moreover, the expected challenges of the RM sector in the next ten years are presented and are based on the opinions of the industry representatives of the abovementioned countries. Within this framework, 423 participants provided their views in a survey with structured questionnaires. The results were analysed on the basis of the stakeholder groups and the countries that were examined. SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), and 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), were highly ranked by the stakeholders, which indicates a strong link between these SDGs and the RM sector. Digital transformation, recycling and material chain optimization for end-of-life products, and increased resource efficiency in mineral and metallurgical processes, were reported as the most important challenges that are expected to be faced by the RM industry in the next decade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Raw Materials and Circular Economy: Concepts and Evidence)
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Article
Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis for Evaluating Transitional and Post-Mining Options—An Innovative Perspective from the EIT ReviRIS Project
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2292; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042292 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1047
Abstract
In mine design and planning, identifying appropriate Post-Mining Land Use (PMLU) is necessary and crucial to achieving environmental quality and socioeconomic renewal. In this context, Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) methods are used to support decision-maker and stakeholder decisions. However, most studies regarding the [...] Read more.
In mine design and planning, identifying appropriate Post-Mining Land Use (PMLU) is necessary and crucial to achieving environmental quality and socioeconomic renewal. In this context, Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) methods are used to support decision-maker and stakeholder decisions. However, most studies regarding the application of MCDM methods to PMLU decisions do not favor their widespread use because they start from an already structured decisional problem. The structure they present may not apply to another PMLU decision. Therefore, the primary goal of this study is to present an innovative methodology and its corresponding framework to help decision-makers and stakeholders structure their PMLU decisions. This innovative methodology can be used from an early stage, with a low level of detail, until a later stage, with a high level of detail, and is composed of three main stages. The first stage is selecting the Transitional Post-Mining Landscape Profile, which guides the user to different Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) goals. The second stage is developing criteria and alternatives according to the MCDA goal, using topics representing essential dimensions that cannot be disregarded, and testing the MCDM methods. Finally, the third stage is the participatory process and final application of MCDM methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Raw Materials and Circular Economy: Concepts and Evidence)
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Article
Assessing of Losses and Dilution Impact on the Cost Chain: Case Study of Gold Ore Deposits
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3830; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073830 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1527
Abstract
The conditions of declining gold grade in the ore, increasing depth of excavation, and de-creasing unallocated stock of deposits make it necessary to develop efficient solutions for the mine-to-mill process, which have to be adapted to each specific mining plant and will optimizes [...] Read more.
The conditions of declining gold grade in the ore, increasing depth of excavation, and de-creasing unallocated stock of deposits make it necessary to develop efficient solutions for the mine-to-mill process, which have to be adapted to each specific mining plant and will optimizes production costs. Current research focuses on a case study that demonstrates how indicators of mining losses and dilution influence the variation of costs chain in the production cycle. The article examines the topical issue of determining the effects at the mine-to-mill stages due to changes in losses and dilution. The author’s approach to the formation of a mine-to-mill cost chain is proposed by integrating several cost estimation methods into the general cost estimation methodology. The estimation methodology is a compilation of factor analysis and cost engineering methods that take into account the change in costs due to the variation of losses and dilution. It was proven that with variations in losses and dilution, cost savings arise due to changes in the volume of work on ore averaging, ore transportation, and beneficiation. For the case of the Kuranakh ore field, there are no effects at the mining stage. The use of internal reserves by means of managing ore quality parameters allows reducing the costs per ton of processed rock mass along the entire production chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Raw Materials and Circular Economy: Concepts and Evidence)
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