Life cycle assessment of European copper mining

A case study from Sweden

Document identifier: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-75801
Keyword: Natural Sciences, Earth and Related Environmental Sciences, Geosciences, Multidisciplinary, Naturvetenskap, Geovetenskap och miljövetenskap, Multidisciplinär geovetenskap, Ore Geology, Malmgeologi
Publication year: 2019
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructureSDG 13 Climate action
The SDG label(s) above have been assigned by OSDG.ai

Abstract:

The application of the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology in the mining sector has the potential to evaluate the environmental sustainability of the primary production of metals. As part of a wider project on developing LCA models and methods for mining, life cycle inventory (LCI) data have been collected at two European copper-producing mine sites, Aitik (Sweden) and Cobre las Cruces (Spain). Results from Aitik, including their impact analysis, identify the use of diesel and explosives, the emission of sulfur dioxide, as well as nitrogen and other emissions in the upstream supply chain of explosives and electricity, as significant contributors to the environmental impact. These outputs have influence on the impact categories Climate Change, Photochemical Ozone Formation, Acidification, as well as Terrestrial and Marine Eutrophication. Due to the increasing incorporation of LCA into legislative demands on the mining sector, mining companies need to establish the necessary infrastructure and framework to be able to provide the required data in a fast, transparent and cost-efficient manner. For this reason, some recommendations to improve communication and data management within the companies have been established from the experience gained within this project.

Authors

Tobias Christoph Kampmann

Luleå tekniska universitet; Geovetenskap och miljöteknik
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Rodrigo A.F. Alvarenga

Ghent University, Belgium
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David Sanjuan-Delmás

Ghent University, Belgium
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Mats Lindblom

Boliden Mineral AB, Sweden
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