Agency for International Minerals Policy MinPol

Austria

Agency for International Minerals Policy MinPol

Austria
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Murguia D.I.,Wuppertal Institute for Climate | Murguia D.I.,Agency for International Minerals Policy MinPol | Bringezu S.,Wuppertal Institute for Climate | Bringezu S.,Center for Environmental Systems Research
Progress in Industrial Ecology | Year: 2016

The amount of land directly disturbed by mining is a key generic environmental pressure indicator. A novel method based on the measurement of the cumulative net area disturbances using Landsat satellite images and its correlation with the cumulative ore production at the mine site was applied. Weighted disturbance rates (WDRs) were calculated indicating the annual quantity of hectares newly disturbed per million metric tons of ore extracted. Results show that open pit (OP) have a smaller average WDR (5.05 ha/Mt) than underground (UG) mines (11.85 ha/Mt). This is explained by the relation between the annual amounts of new net area disturbed and of ore extracted which is larger for UG than for OP mines due to the annual extraction volume (lower for UG). Overall findings demonstrate that bauxite mining has the highest WDR (7.98 ha/Mt), followed by gold (6.70 ha/Mt), silver (5.53 ha/Mt), copper (4.5 ha/Mt) and iron (4.25 ha/Mt). Copyright © 2016 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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