Environmental Implications of Resource Security Strategies for Critical Minerals: A Case Study of Copper in Japan

Ran Motoori, Benjamin McLellan, Tetsuo Tezuka
2018 Minerals  
In the assessment of critical minerals, environmental impacts have been a focus of a number of methodologies. In the case of resource security for critical minerals, there are a variety of potential strategies that might be used to reduce criticality from the supply risk perspective, but the environmental consequences of these strategies need to be evaluated. Japan is a country with a heavy dependence on imported materials, and thus has examined various alternative resource supply strategies to
more » ... upply strategies to improve resource security. This study examines these alternative strategies and evaluates the consequential environmental implications, focusing on the domestic impacts in Japan. Utilization of deep ocean mining and end-of-life home appliance recycling are examined as alternatives against the conventional, import-oriented process. From the obtained results, deep ocean mining, providing 30% of domestic copper demand with the remainder supplied from recycling, is the current optimal solution with regards to the environmental impact.
doi:10.3390/min8120558 fatcat:flhqdyrkovfzjcuxuk2f6xbvf4