Efficiency as a road to sustainability in small scale mining

Jacopo Seccatore, Giorgio de Tomi, Marcello Veiga

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The world is going through a new-millennium rush in precious metals, especially gold. The great increase in gold price in the last years, probably due to a shift towards safe investments in a period of crisis in the global economy, created a rapid increase in gold production. The faster response to this shift in production came from Artisanal (ASM) and Small-scale (SSM) mining units in remote locations of the world, and Brazil is one of the main countries that has ASM and SSM on its territory. The present paper draws some definitions of Small-Scale Mining and Artisanal Mining, based on its productivity and its actual social and environmental implications, and of their sustainability. The analysis of production data of Small Scale and Large Scale Mining on global scale and on Brazilian scale shows the high potential of SSM in dealing with lower mineral grades and market fluctuations, due to its high flexibility. A general growth of the role of SSM in precious metals production in the next decades is foreseen. An elaboration on world ASM data led to a clear correlation between efficiency in production and an index of human development; this result is shown and discussed. Based on the potential of SSM to attend to the mineral market needs, efficiency in productivity is finally proposed as the main path to turn an ASM unit into a sustainable and profitable Small-Scale industrial extractive unit.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Special Issue in Memory of Dr. Lucio Salgado
EditorsLucio Salgado
PublisherTrans Tech Publications Ltd
Pages395-402
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9783038352365
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event56 Brazilian Ceramic Conference, COLAOB 2012, Latin American Cong. of Artificial Organs and Biomaterials, 2012, 7th International Conference on Intelligent Processing and Manufacturing of Materials, IPMM, 2012, Brazilian Surface Treatments and Exhibition, EBRATS 2012, Ptech - 8th International Latin American Conference on Powder Technology, 2011 - Foz de Iguaçu, Brazil
Duration: 2 Sep 20123 Sep 2012

Publication series

NameMaterials Science Forum
Volume805
ISSN (Print)0255-5476
ISSN (Electronic)1662-9752

Conference

Conference56 Brazilian Ceramic Conference, COLAOB 2012, Latin American Cong. of Artificial Organs and Biomaterials, 2012, 7th International Conference on Intelligent Processing and Manufacturing of Materials, IPMM, 2012, Brazilian Surface Treatments and Exhibition, EBRATS 2012, Ptech - 8th International Latin American Conference on Powder Technology, 2011
Country/TerritoryBrazil
CityFoz de Iguaçu
Period2/09/123/09/12

Keywords

  • Efficiency
  • Small scale mining
  • Sustainability

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Efficiency as a road to sustainability in small scale mining'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this