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Quantifying the Recoverable Resources of Companion Metals: A Preliminary Study of Australian Mineral Resources


  • Gavin M. Mudd

    (Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia)

  • Mohan Yellishetty

    (Mining Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia)

  • Barbara K. Reck

    (School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA)

  • T. E. Graedel

    (School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA)


The long-term availability of mineral resources is crucial in underpinning human society, technology, and economic activity, and in managing anthropogenic environmental impacts. This is increasingly true for metals that do not generally form the primary product of mines (“host” metals), such as copper or iron, but are recovered as by-products (or sometimes co-products during the processing of primary ores). For these “companion” metals, it is therefore useful to develop methodologies to estimate the recoverable resource, i.e. , the amount that could, if desired, be extracted and put into use over the next several decades. We describe here a methodological approach to estimating the recoverable resources of companion metals in metal ores, using preliminary data for some particular host/companion pairs in Australia as examples.

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  • Gavin M. Mudd & Mohan Yellishetty & Barbara K. Reck & T. E. Graedel, 2014. "Quantifying the Recoverable Resources of Companion Metals: A Preliminary Study of Australian Mineral Resources," Resources, MDPI, vol. 3(4), pages 1-15, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jresou:v:3:y:2014:i:4:p:657-671:d:42988

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mudd, Gavin M., 2010. "The Environmental sustainability of mining in Australia: key mega-trends and looming constraints," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 98-115, June.
    2. Phillip Crowson, 2011. "Mineral reserves and future minerals availability," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 24(1), pages 1-6, July.
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