Environmental Stewardship in Mining & Minerals Beneficiation
Practical Training in Sustainable Development
MPhil Project title Can Life Cycle Based Indicators Enhance Eco-efficient Processing of Platinum Group Metals?
(Duration: Jan 2014 to Dec 2015)
Very limited research has been done to investigate what environmental value could be created if strategic and design decisions in minerals processing were life cycle based, particularly in the context of PGMs. Whilst life cycle inventories are available for many metals (but not for PGMs) as critical inputs in product life cycle assessments (LCAs), it is not known what sets of data would be most important in developing life-cycle based eco-efficiency indicators for the assessment of minerals process design for PGMs. Therefore, the main objective of this research is to assess whether introducing life-cycle based eco-efficiency indicators into strategic and design decision making could add any environmental value to the processing of PGMs. The research uses two case studies, to analyse the environmental concerns that could be incorporated into (a) strategic and (b) design decision making in PGM minerals processing. The literature on quantified eco-efficiency indicators and their use in minerals processing guides the development of life-cycle based indicators to be applied and tested in the case studies. Research methods used are structured around the ISO principles and guidelines for conducting LCAs.
Munyongani, V., Von Blottnitz, H. and Franzidis, J.-P. (2014) Life-cycle based indicators for eco-efficient processing of platinum group metals. Poster presented at the at the 32ndannual SAIMM Mineral Processing Conference, 7-8 August, Cape Town.