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Economic, technological and sustainability-based qualifications with reference to Europe: Iberia’s new metal mining projects


  • Luis de la Torre Palacios

    (IMEB Consejo de Colegios de Ingenieros de Minas de España)

  • José Antonio Espí Rodríguez

    (IMEB Consejo de Colegios de Ingenieros de Minas de España)

  • Paulo Romero Martinez

    (IMEB Consejo de Colegios de Ingenieros de Minas de España)


In Iberia, if current mining projects are grouped by their geographic and metallogenic characteristics, more important similarities appear among them. These refer to economic conditions, applied innovative technologies, environmental sustainability measures and circular economy patterns. The work uses indicators of these four dimensions to evaluate and qualify mining projects in progress and those still under development with sufficient guarantees of viability. The proposed methodology is oriented towards considering groupings of projects that present an appreciable dynamic towards an incipient or developing district “cluster”. The assessment (classification) refers to the degree of evolution achieved at present and the near future, which facilitates discussion of the conditions of each grouping. The most economically important base metal region, the Iberian Pyritic Belt (IPB), indicates positive conditions for a successful cluster according to the new methodology implemented. The other, formed by technological metal deposits, is still far from achieving this success.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis de la Torre Palacios & José Antonio Espí Rodríguez & Paulo Romero Martinez, 2021. "Economic, technological and sustainability-based qualifications with reference to Europe: Iberia’s new metal mining projects," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 34(2), pages 277-304, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minecn:v:34:y:2021:i:2:d:10.1007_s13563-021-00257-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s13563-021-00257-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Komninos Angelakoglou & Georgios Gaidajis, 2020. "A Conceptual Framework to Evaluate the Environmental Sustainability Performance of Mining Industrial Facilities," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(5), pages 1-20, March.
    2. Michael Tost & Benjamin Bayer & Michael Hitch & Stephan Lutter & Peter Moser & Susanne Feiel, 2018. "Metal Mining’s Environmental Pressures: A Review and Updated Estimates on CO 2 Emissions, Water Use, and Land Requirements," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(8), pages 1-14, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. de la Torre de Palacios, Luis & Espí Rodríguez, José Antonio, 2022. "Dematerialisation and material flow analysis as sustainability indicators in the extraction of mineral resources," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    2. de la Torre de Palacios, Luis & Espí Rodríguez, José Antonio, 2022. "In mining, not everything is a circular economy: Case studies from recent mining projects in Iberia," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    3. Borkowski, Bolesław & Krawiec, Monika & Karwański, Marek & Szczesny, Wiesław & Shachmurove, Yochanan, 2021. "Modeling garch processes in base metals returns using panel data," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).

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