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TP11B Modelling of Resource Depletion and Land Use
() Life Cycle Inventory Flows for Joint Metal Resources.
Althaus, H1, Classen, M1, 1 Technology & Society Laboratory, EMPA, Duebendorf
ABSTRACT- In this presentation a methodology of inventorying joint metal resources is proposed.Impact assessment methods usually aggregate and assess resources based on a) mass, b) reserves, c) cost of restoration or substitution of the resource or d) change in the future impact of the extraction due to the need to extract form lower grade deposits. Inventory data for metal ores on the other hand usually relate either to the amount of a specific metal in the ore or to the amount of a specific metal-containing mineral in the ore. Such inventory data doesn't allow an assessment based on d) since it doesn't indicate the quality of the deposit from which a resource is extracted and it doesn't allow an assessment of coupled resources at all since it bears no information on other elements or minerals present in the ore. Within ecoinvent a new method of inventorying abiotic resources was developed. The elementary flow relates to the element or mineral in focus and delivers information about its content in the ore and other economically valuable elements or minerals in the ore and in the crude ore. Thus the coupled extraction of e.g. copper and molybdenum from sulfidic ore is inventoried as extraction of copper and molybdenum as 'Copper, 0.59% in sulfide, Cu 0.22% and Mo 8.2E-3% in crude ore, in ground' and 'Molybdenum, 0.022% in sulfide, Mo 8.2E-3% and Cu 0.22% in crude ore, in ground'. The extraction of the copper resource is completely allocated to the copper produced while the extraction of the molybdenum resource is allocated to the copper and the molybdenum produced since on a global scale only part of the molybdenum mined together with copper is actually won. These elementary flows allow an assessment of all abiotic resources based on any of the existing impact assessment methods.
Key words: joined resource, inventory, allocation
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