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Towards a multi-dimensional methodology supporting a safeguarding decision on the future access to mineral resources


  • A. Mateus

    (Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa
    Instituto Dom Luíz (IDL))

  • C. Lopes

    (Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa)

  • L. Martins


  • J. Carvalho

    (Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia (LNEG))


A multi-dimensional methodology is proposed to delimit areas hosting mineral resources of public importance (MRoPI). The assessment procedure considers the Level of Geological Knowledge (LGK) along with the Economic (Ec), Environmental (Ev) and Social Development and Acceptance (SDA) dimensions. Different sets of independent, but complementary and variably weighed, criteria support the appraisal of each dimension, and a final score (MRoPI r ) results from a reasonable balance between LGK and (Ec + Ev + SDA). A ranking based on MRoPI r will fall in the [1, 10] interval, as imposed by the scaling normalising factor, but only specific tracts having MRoPI r ≥ 4 display LGK values confident enough to be covered by a safeguarding decision at a given time. Adequate MRoPI r mapping can also be done, interpolating within the kriging formalism and evaluating thoroughly the modelling results until achieving the final map. The methodology application shows in addition that the combined use of LGK, Ec, Ev and SDA allows to address suitably two overlapping and coexisting, although different, issues: (1) safeguarding the future access to mineral resources and (2) planning the mineral development in the short-medium term, recognising the need of assigning specific areas to mining activities.

Suggested Citation

  • A. Mateus & C. Lopes & L. Martins & J. Carvalho, 2017. "Towards a multi-dimensional methodology supporting a safeguarding decision on the future access to mineral resources," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 30(3), pages 229-255, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minecn:v:30:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s13563-017-0114-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s13563-017-0114-y

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    Cited by:

    1. Radwanek-Bąk, Barbara & Sobczyk, Wiktoria & Sobczyk, Eugeniusz J., 2020. "Support for multiple criteria decisions for mineral deposits valorization and protection," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    2. Lopes, C. & Lisboa, V. & Carvalho, J. & Mateus, A. & Martins, L., 2018. "Challenges to access and safeguard mineral resources for society: A case study of kaolin in Portugal," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 263-284.
    3. Carvalho, J. & Lopes, C. & Mateus, A. & Martins, L. & Goulão, M., 2018. "Planning the future exploitation of ornamental stones in Portugal using a weighed multi-dimensional approach," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 298-317.

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