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CLUSTER RESEARCH REPORT No. 1.

Copper case study: Australian resources, technology and future scenarios R. Memary, D. Giurco, G. Mudd, S. Mohr, Z. Wheng 2012

Prepared by:
Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University For CSIRO Minerals Down Under National Research Flagship

ABOUTTHEAUTHORS
InstituteforSustainableFutures:UniversityofTechnology,Sydney
TheInstituteforSustainableFutures(ISF)wasestablishedbytheUniversityofTechnology,Sydneyin 1996toworkwithindustry,governmentandthecommunitytodevelopsustainablefuturesthrough researchandconsultancy.Ourmissionistocreatechangetowardsustainablefuturesthatprotectand enhancetheenvironment,humanwellbeingandsocialequity.Weseektoadoptaninterdisciplinary approachtoourworkandengageourpartnerorganisationsinacollaborativeprocessthatemphasises strategicdecisionmaking. Forfurtherinformationvisitwww.isf.uts.edu.au Researchteam: Mr.RezaMemary,ResearchAssistant; Dr.SteveMohr,SeniorResearchConsultant; Dr.DamienGiurco,ResearchDirector.

DepartmentofCivilEngineering:MonashUniversity
TheDepartmentofCivilEngineering,withintheFacultyofEngineeringatMonashUniversityaimsto providehighqualityCivilEngineeringeducation,researchandprofessionalservicesgloballyforthe mutualbenefitofthestudents,thestaff,theUniversity,industry,theprofessionandthewider community Forfurtherinformationvisitwww.eng.monash.edu.au/civil/ Researchteam: Dr.GavinM.Mudd,SeniorLecturer; Mr.ZehanWheng,ResearchAssistant.

CITATION
Citethisreportas: Memary,R.,Giurco,D.,Mudd,G.,Mohr,S.,Wheng,Z.(2012).Coppercasestudy:Australianresources, technologyandfuturescenarios.PreparedforCSIROMineralsDownUnderFlagship,bytheInstitutefor SustainableFutures(UniversityofTechnology,Sydney)andtheDepartmentofCivilEngineering(Monash University),May2012.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
ThisresearchhasbeenundertakenaspartoftheMineralsFuturesResearchCluster,acollaborative programbetweentheAustralianCSIRO(CommonwealthScientificIndustrialResearchOrganisation);The UniversityofQueensland;TheUniversityofTechnology,Sydney;CurtinUniversity;CQUniversity;and TheAustralianNationalUniversity.Theauthorsgratefullyacknowledgethecontributioneachpartner andtheCSIROFlagshipCollaborationFund.TheMineralsFuturesClusterisapartoftheMineralsDown UnderNationalResearchFlagship,http://www.csiro.au/OrganisationStructure/Flagships/Minerals DownUnderFlagship/mineralfuturescollaborationcluster.aspx.

CONTENTS
1. BACKGROUND
1.1. 1.2. 1.3. 1.4. 1.5. 1.6. 1.7. 2.1. 2.2. 2.3. 2.4. 2.5. 3.1. 3.2. 3.3. Aim Introduction Globalcopperflows CurrentReserves Coppergrade Copperprice Copperdemand Production Producingcoppermines Copperresources,reservesandtheiroregeologyinAustralia Exportsofcopper Casestudymines Quantifyingcopperresources Briefreviewofcopperdeposittypes Globalcopperresources

5
5 5 5 6 7 7 8

2. COPPERINAUSTRALIA

9
9 11 13 15 22

3. GLOBALECONOMICCOPPERRESOURCES

17
17 17 18

4. ECONOMIC&ENVIRONMENTALISSUESWITHCOPPERMININGINAUSTRALIA
4.1. Economicfactorsaffectingcompetitiveness 4.2. EnvironmentanalysisofcopperminingusingLCA 4.2.1. Analysedtechnologies 4.2.2. LCAResults 4.3. Summaryofeconomicandenvironmentalchallenges

22
22 25 25 27 32

5. TECHNOLOGYADVANCESINCOPPERMININGANDSMELTING
5.1. 5.2. 5.3. 5.4. 5.5. 5.6. 5.7. HydrometallurgyandPyrometallurgy Bioleaching InSituLeaching(ISL) Deepseamining Recycling ProductServiceSystem(PSS) Energyoptions

33
33 33 34 34 34 36 37

6. EXPLORINGFUTURESCENARIOSFORCOPPER
6.1. Effectsoforegradechange,technologyimprovementsandbusinessmodels 6.2. Globalcontext:WorldEconomicForumscenarios 6.2.1. Greentradealliance 6.2.2. Rebasedglobalism 6.2.3. Resourcesecurity

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39 41 41 41 42

7. CONCLUSION 8. REFERENCES

43 44

FIGURES
Figure1.1:Worldcopperproductionhistoryfrom1900 Figure1.2:TheoregradedeclinesinUSA,CanadaandAustralia Figure1.3:Thepriceofcopperovertime Figure2.1:AustralianCopperproductionsbetween18401950bystate Figure2.2:AustralianCopperproductionsbetween19502010bystate Figure2.3:Modelledcopperproductionwithpeakprediction Figure2.4:Australiascoppermines Figure2.5:Australiasexportsofcopper Figure2.6:ThevalueofAustraliascopperexports Figure3.1:HistoricaltrendsineconomicCuresourcesforAustralia,Canada,ChileandtheUSA Figure3.2:HistoricaltrendsinCuoregradesforAustralia,CanadaandtheUSA Figure4.1:Production(a)andoregrade(b)throughtime Figure4.2:ContributiontoGDPgrowthbysector Figure4.3:Reverberatoryfurnaceprocessflow Figure4.4:Flashsmeltingprocessflow Figure4.5:Globalwarmingpotentialthroughtime Figure4.6:ContributionofeachminingoperationtocarbondioxideproductionInMtIsa Figure4.7:Calculatedacidificationpotentialthroughtime Figure4.8:Calculatedphotochemicalozonecreationpotential Figure5.1:Sydneyinusecopperstocksin2000 Figure5.2:LocationsofcopperminesonthesolarradiationmapofAustralia Figure6.1:Globalwarmingpotentialofeachscenariotill2024

TABLES
Table1.1:Worldproductionofcopperin2010 Table1.2:Thereservesofcopper Table1.3:Thedemandforcopper(kilotonnes)inrecentyears Table2.1:CopperproducingminesinAustraliain2010 Table2.2:Top10coppermines,Top10copperdepositsinAustraliabycontainedcopperin2010 Table3.1:Compilationofglobalcopperresourcesbycountry(sortedbyMtCu) Table3.2:Top20copperresourcesbydeposit/project(sortedbyMtCu) Table5.1:comparingnewtechnologiesforcopper Table5.2:Examplesofenergyefficiencyopportunitiesinmining Table6.1:ModellingfuturecoppertechnologyoptionsforAustralia

Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

1. BACKGROUND
ThiscoppercasestudyispartoftheCommodityFuturescomponentoftheMineralFutures CollaborationCluster.TheCommodityFuturesresearchfocusesonthemacroscalechallenges, thedynamics,anddriversofchangefacingtheAustralianmineralsindustryandoverallproject aimsareto: Explore plausible and preferable future scenarios for the Australian minerals industry thatmaximisenationalbenefitinthecoming30to50years Identify strategies for improved resource governance for sustainability across scales, fromregionaltonationalandinternational Establish a detailed understanding of the dynamics of peak minerals in Australia, with regional,nationalandinternationalimplications Developstrategiestomaximisevaluefrommineralwealthovergenerations,includingan analysisofAustraliaslongtermcompetitivenessforspecifiedmineralspostpeak.

Thisreportcoversthecasestudyoncopperresources,miningandsmeltinginAustraliawith considerationoffutureenvironmentalandtechnologicalchallengesfacingthecopperrelated miningandmineralindustriesofAustralia.

1.1. Aim
Theaimofthisreportistoestablishacomprehensivedatacompendiumoncopperandto explorethelinkbetweenresources,technologyandchangingenvironmentalimpactsovertime asabasisforinformingfutureresearchprioritiesintechnologyandresourcegovernance.

1.2.

Introduction

Copperscharacteristicssuchasductility,malleability,highelectricalandthermalconductivityin additiontohighcorrosionresistancehavemadeitoneofthebasemetalswithhighapplications forthousandsofyears.Ithasbeenusedinapplicationsrequiringelectricalandthermal conduction,buildingmaterials,andisthemainelementofmanyalloyssuchasbronzeand brass. Coppercontinuestoplayanessentialroleinoursocietywithelectricalapplications,power generation,transformers,motors,andcablesandelectricalequipmentlikewiringandcontacts, televisions,PCs,andmobilephones.Itisalsousedinconstructionsuchasplumbingandroofing, andtransport.Althoughithasbeenusedforthousandsofyearsitisonlythelasthundredyears thatproductionofcopperhassignificantlyincreased. Theimportanceofcopperinindustrialapplicationsisexpectedtoriseinthecomingyearsdue toitsapplicationsinenergyefficiencyprojectsandmotorsforelectricvehicles.

1.3. Historical global copper production


Worldcopperproductionhasbeenincreasingexponentiallyat2.75%ayearforoverahundred years,asshowninFigure1.1.

Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

Figure1.1:Worldcopperproductionhistoryfrom1900,actualdatafromUSGSDS140,2010

World production is now approximately 16 Mt a year of copper (USGS DS140). As shown in Table1.1,Chileproducesalmostonethirdoftheworldscopper,andthenext5majorcountries (Peru, China, US, Australia, and Indonesia) produce another third of world production and the remainingproductionisspreadacrosstherestoftheworld.
Table1.1:Worldproductionofcopperin2010(USGSMCS). Country Chile Peru China US Australia Indonesia Zambia Russia Canada Poland Kazakhstan Mexico Other World Production(kt) 5,520 1,285 1,150 1,120 900 840 770 750 480 430 400 230 2,300 16,200

1.4. Current global copper reserves


TheworldsreservesofcopperarepresentedinTable1.2.AsexpectedChile,whichdominates copperproductionalsodominatescopperreserveswithapproximately25%.Thenexttwo countries(PeruandAustralia)combinedrepresentanother25%ofworldreserves,withthe 6

Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

remaining50%ofreservesspreadevenlyacrosstheothernations.Aninterestingpointtonote isthatalthoughAustraliaisthe6thlargestproducer,ithasthe3rdlargestreserves,indicating thatAustraliamaybeabletoplayamoresignificantroleinworldcopperproductioninfuture.


Table1.2:Thereservesofcopper(USGSJan2011). Country Chile Peru Australia Mexico US China Indonesia Russia Poland Zambia Kazakhstan Canada Other World Reserves(kt) 150,000 90,000 80,000 38,000 35,000 30,000 30,000 30,000 26,000 20,000 18,000 8,000 80,000 630,000

1.5. Changing copper ore grades


CopperoregradesaroundtheworldaredecliningasisevidentinFigure1.2.Inthe1800s coppergradeswhereveryhigh,over10%inAustraliaandaround8%inCanada,howeverby 1900thegradeshaddeclinedtounder4%.CurrentlyAustralia,CanadaandtheUSAhave copperoregradesoflessthan2%.
28

24

Copper Ore Grade (%Cu)

20

Australia
16

12

Canada
0 1840

USA
1860 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000

Figure1.2:TheoregradedeclinesinUSA,CanadaandAustralia

1.6. Historical copper price


ThepriceofcopperinUSdollarsovertimeisshowninFigure1.3;boththerealpriceand inflationaladjustedpricerelativeto1998dollarsareshown.Theinflationadjustedpriceof copperhadbeendecliningsincethe1970suntiltheearlier2000s.Since2003thepriceof copperrapidlyincreasedtoalevelnotreachedsince1970.Althoughcopperpricesdeclinedin theglobalfinancialcrisisof2008,theyhavebeguntoincreaseoncemore. 7

Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

10,000 Real$US 9,000 8,000 7,000 Inflationadjusted (1998 $US)

Price $/t

6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010

Figure1.3:Thepriceofcopperovertime(USGSDS1402010).

1.7. Copper demand by end use


ThebreakdownofcopperusesisshowninTable1.3.Thereisastrongdemandforcopperasitis usedinelectricalapplications,powergeneration,transformers,motors,andcablesand electronicdevices.Itisalsousedinconstructionsuchasplumbingandroofing,andtransport. Copperisanimportantresourceintheelectronicsandconstructionindustries.
Table1.3:Thedemandforcopper(kilotonnes)inrecentyears(InternationalCopperStudyGroup, 2009,2010)

Industry Construction Construction Construction Construction Construction Infrastructure Infrastructure EquipmentManufacture EquipmentManufacture EquipmentManufacture EquipmentManufacture EquipmentManufacture EquipmentManufacture EquipmentManufacture Total(kilotonnes)

Use Plumbing Buildingplant Architecture Communication ElectricalPower Powerutility Telecom Industrial Automotive OtherTransportation ConsumerandGeneral Products Cooling Electronics Diverse All

2008 1,528 137 499 223 3,712 2,624 874 4,603 1,909 1,086

2009 1,336 133 327 193 5,273 2,541 725 2,742 1,590 967

2,001 1,814 1,643 1,330 856 768 2,252 2,359 23,947 22,098

Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

2. COPPER IN AUSTRALIA
2.1. Production
AustraliaisthefifthlargestproducerofcopperbehindChile,Peru,China,andUSAandhasbeen producingcopperforaround160years.ThecopperminesinSouthAustraliaduringthe1850s 70swereimportantgloballyatthetime.Australiashistoriccopperproductionisshownin Figures2.1andAustraliascopperproductionfromthe1950sonwardispresentedinFigure2.2 (notethechangeofscale).AsdepictedQueenslandandSouthAustraliaarethemainproducers ofcopperinAustralia,withNSWandWesternAustraliamakingsignificantcontributions. Australiasremainingeconomicresourceshavethepotentialtomaintainapositionamongthe world'sleadingmineralnations.Consequentlypropermanagementofcopperextractionand processinginAustraliashouldbeexaminedfurthertoseewhatisrequiredtoensurethe provisionoflongtermbenefitforfuturegenerations.

Figure2.1:AustralianCopperproductionsbetween18401950bystate(Mudd,2010)

Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

Figure2.2:AustralianCopperproductionsbetween19502010bystate(Mudd,2010)

Regardingpeakannualproduction,thecopperresourcelifeusingnationalEconomic DemonstratedResourcesdividedbyannualproductionis91yearhowever(MuddandWard, 2008)statesthatultimately,theworldmaynotphysicallyrunoutofcopper,coal,goldorother minerals,butaggregateproductionmustpeakanddeclineasnewminingoperationsbecome increasinglyconstrainedbylowergrademineraldeposits,greenhouseemissions,energycosts andwater.AmodelledpeakpointforcopperproductionisshowninFigure2.3.

Figure2.3:Modelledcopperproductionwithpeakprediction(MuddandWard,2008).

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

2.2. Producing copper mines


Australias major copper mine producers are shown in Table 2.1, and summary information is provided in Table 2.2. As depicted, prior to the late 1980s Mt Isa dominated Australias copper industry. Since the late 1980s Australias copper production has significantly increased from around250ktCutojustlessthan900ktCucurrently.Thesignificantincreaseinproductionhas been due to major new mines opening, including but not limited to Olympic Dam in 1988, Nifty in 1993, Osborne in 1995, NorthParkes in 1996, Ernest Henry in 1997, Ridgeway in 2000, Telfer in 2005 and Prominent Hill in 2009. Interesting the size of large minesappears very stable, with thelargeminestypicallyproducingbetween20and150ktCuperannum. AsindicatedinTable2.1,copperproductionfromMtIsa,OlympicDamandProminentHill dominateproductionandthesethreeminescombinedproducenearly50%ofAustraliascopper production.Currently,allofAustraliascopperproducersuseconventionalundergroundor opencutminingincombinationwithaflotationmilltoproduceacopperconcentrate(which oftencontainsgoldasabyproductorinsomecasesastheprimaryproductwithcopperaby product).OnlytheOlympicDamprojecthasacombinedmine,mill,smelterandrefinery complex,withtheMtIsaprojectalsocontainingamine,millandsmeltercomplex(acopper refineryislocatedinTownsville).Althoughtherehavebeensomemoderatescaleprojects whichhaveusedheapleachingandsolventextractionelectrowinningtechnology,theseare closedatpresentduetorecentcopperpricevolatility(e.g.LadyAnnie)or,followingexhaustion ofoxideore,convertedtoaconventionalminemillforsulphideores(e.g.Nifty).Ingeneral, therehasnotbeenanysubstantiveorradicalchangeintechnologicalapproachforcopper productioninAustraliaforsomedecades,withmostchangesoccurringasincremental improvementsovertime.

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

Table2.1:CopperproducingminesinAustraliain2010(Mudd,2010).
Mine / Project M C S R Mt Isa X X X Olympic Dam X X X X Prominent Hill X X Ernest Henry X X Nifty X X Northparkes X X Golden Grove X X Telfer X X Boddington X X Cadia Hill X X Mt Lyell X X #1 X X Osborne Mt Garnet Group X X Ridgeway X X Tritton X X Jaguar X X Sally Malay X X Rosebery X X Kambalda Field X X Cairn Hill X X #2 X X Cadia East Angas X X Peak X X Ore Type Cu Cu-U-Au-Ag Cu-Au-Ag Cu-Au Cu Cu-Au Pb-Zn-Ag-Cu-Au Au-Cu Au-Cu Au-Cu Cu-Au-Ag Cu-Au Pb-Zn-Ag-Cu-Au Au-Cu Cu Pb-Zn-Ag-Cu Ni-Cu-Co Pb-Zn-Ag-Cu-Au Ni-Cu Fe-Cu Au-Cu Pb-Zn-Ag-Cu-Au Au-Cu Totals t ore 6,092,414 7,046,000 9,537,461 9,838,428 2,250,610 5,248,000 1,597,026 22,944,000 26,619,062 17,512,000 2,120,000 1,026,043 956,767 4,312,000 683,110 363,567 630,716 724,791 1,060,823 124,444 79,000 392,144 121,158,407 %Cu 2.91 0.54 0.82 0.69 2.90 0.82 0.71 0.17 0.12 0.17 1.21 2.33 2.03 0.46 2.14 3.24 0.59 0.38 0.22 0.52 0.36 0.23 0.59 g/t Au g/t Ag 5.01 2.96 0.34 0.51 37.0 1.06 1.03 0.82 0.3 0.89 0.29 1.23 1.88 1.32 t Cu 157,696 131,800 112,171 74,595 61,061 39,000 34,291 33,213 26,309 26,026 23,777 22,676 17,773 17,351 14,274 9,660 3,626 2,087 1,923 324 240 145 810,017 kg Au 2,127.8 6,108.0 2,838.2 2,030.8 1,129.1 21,164.7 22,640.8 11,621.5 3800 839.7 106.0 4,330.2 kg Ag 17,634 19,152 t waste rock 563,680 53,353,057 16,782,266 6,527,600 %ore OC 0 0 100 100 0 0 0 74.53 100 100 0 0 6.64 0 0 0 0 0 100 0 0 0 66.69 %Cu OC 0 0 100 100 0 0 0 40.22 100 100 0 0 6.64 0 0 0 0 0 100 0 0 0 60.19 Company Xstrata BHP Billiton OZ Minerals Xstrata Aditya Birla Minerals Rio Tinto MMG Newcrest Newmont Newcrest Vedanta Resources Ivanhoe Australia Kagara Zinc Newcrest Straits Resources Jabiru Metals Panoramic Resources MMG Various IMX Resources Newcrest Terramin New Gold

2.37 0.6

59,169 13,766 5,400 380 14,800

24,721,000 5,627,000

3 22.9

3,025,000

63 1.72 125.0

18,336 981.2 78,709 3,098,600 51.1 94.9 79,864 7,699 235,045 113,698,203

0.79 0.35 1.7

28.2 1.6

Note:Mmine,Cconcentrator,Ssmelter,Rrefinery,OCopencut.

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

2.3. Copper resources, reserves and their ore geology in Australia


Intermsofeconomicandsubeconomicresources,newdepositscontinuetobediscoveredas wellasmajorexpansionsatexistingdeposits.Acompilationofthetop10copperdepositsand top10copperoperatingminesinAustraliabycontainedcopperisgiveninTable2.2.Asshown, Australiahasanestimated113Mtofcopperresources,withthevastbulkofresourcesof almost79MtofcopperintheOlympicDammine.Almostallcopperdepositscontaingold,with somealsocontainingsilver,uranium,leadorzinc.Ofthesedeposits,overhalfhavebeenfound inthepast30years,withsomenearsurface(eg.Rocklands)whileothersareatsignificant depth(eg.OlympicDam,Carrapateena).ThediscoveryoftheOlympicDamdepositin1975 heraldedamajorbreakthroughinexplorationtargeting,sincethedepositwasthefirstmajor discoveryusingcombinedgeophysicsandgeologicaltheoryalthoughthedepositturnedout tobeanentirelynewtypeofmineralisationpreviouslyunrecognisedintheglobalcopper industry(thebrecciacomplex,nowknownasironoxidecoppergoldsilverdeposits).

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

Table2.2:Top10copperminesandTop10copperdepositsinAustraliabycontainedcopperin2010(Mudd,2010).

State SA NSW WA NSW WA NSW SA WA QLD NSW WA QLD QLD QLD NSW SA NSW SA QLD NSW

Mine/Deposit OlympicDam CadiaEast Boddington CadiaHill TelferMainDome Northparkes ProminentHill TelferWestDome MtIsa Ridgeway SpinifexRidge MtElliott MtIsa(OpenCut) Rocklands Marsden Carrapateena CopperHill Hillside MtDore Temora

Status Operating Operating Operating Operating Operating Operating Operating Operating Operating Operating Deposit Deposit Deposit Deposit Deposit Deposit Deposit Deposit Deposit Deposit

Mineral Type Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide Sulfide

Mtore

%Cu

g/tAu g/tAg 0.32 1.50 0.44 0.47 0.59 0.42 0.88 0.27 0.79 2.39 0.65 0.73 0.81 0.24 0.04 0.17 0.56 0.26 0.2 0.1 0.29

ktCu

kgAu

kgAg

Others U

9,075 0.87 2,347 0.28 1,531.2 0.10 408 0.12 369 0.10 365 0.55 285.35 0.89 247 0.06 200 2.01 155 0.38 843 0.085 570 0.44 283 1.11 245 0.21 224 0.32 203 1.31 173 0.31 170 0.7 145 0.52 142.2 0.32

6.0

5.9

78,952.5 2,904,000 6,571.6 1,032,680 1,103,090 1,577.2 899,148 489.6 171,360 369.0 324,720 2,000.2 99,720 2,540.2 225,922 682,919 148.2 160,550 4,028.0 589.0 113,150 125,550 712.6 2,490.0 135,000 3,130.0 505.6 9,420 716.4 37,160 2,659.3 113,680 1,218,000 536.3 44,980 1,190.0 34,000 751.1 14,500 861,300 461.4 40,825

Mo

Co U

Re,Mo Mo

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

CoppermineraltypeismostlyintheformofsulphideoresinAustraliabuttherearealsooxide oressuchasLadyAnnieandRosebyGroupminesinQueenslandandNiftyinWesternAustralia (Niftyischangingtosulphideore).Thesmeltingprocessforsulphideoresismainly pyrometallurgicalandishydrometallurgicalforoxideores.

Figure2.4Australiascoppermines(Australianminesatlas)

2.4. Exports of copper


TheexportofnaturalresourcesisthemainsourceofAustralianexportincome(dominatedby coalandironore).Thecoppersectorcontributes0.4%toGDPandmorethanAUD6billion exportearningsfromconcentrateandrefinedcopper.ThequantityofcopperAustraliahas exportedisshowninFigure2.5,andthevaluesofcopperexportsarepresentedinFigure2.6.It showsthatthevolumeandvalueofcopperexportshaveincreasedovertime.

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

Figure2.5:Australiasexportsofcopper(ABARE,2010).

Figure2.6:ThevalueofAustraliascopperexports(ABARE,2010).

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

3. GLOBAL ECONOMIC COPPER RESOURCES


3.1. Quantifying copper resources
Thisstudycompilesarangeofcopperresourcesreportedbyminingcompaniesbasedon statutorymineralresourcecodes.InAustralia,allmineralresourcesarereportedbasedonthe JointOreReservesCommitteeCode(orJORC),whichprovidesadetailedmethodologyto assessandquantifyagivendepositaseconomic.TheuseofJORCinthecontextofpeakmetals isdiscussedfurtherbyGiurcoetal.(2010).Somecountriesalsohavesimilarcodes,suchas SAMRECinSouthAfricaorNI43101inCanada. Forthisreport,anextensivelistofglobalcopperresourceswascompiledinordertoassessand compareAustraliasglobalpositioninthecoppersector.Allresourcesarebasedoncompanyor governmentreporting,basedonmineralresourcereportingcodesorasimilarapproach.

3.2. Overview of copper deposit types


Ingeneral(butattheriskofunfairoversimplification),themajorgeologicprocesseswhich formoredepositsincludehydrothermalprocesses,graniteintrusions,magmaticformation, volcanism,metamorphism,sedimentaryformations,ormeteoriterelatedimpacts.A combinationofprocessescanalsobeimportant,suchashydrothermalsolutionsinsedimentary environmentsormetamorphismofpreviousmineralisation.Itisalsocommonforsomemetals tooccurtogether,suchasCuNi,PbZnorPbZnCu(mainlyrelatedtotheirindividualelemental geochemistryandtheprimaryprocessesoforebodyformation),alongwithpreciousmetals, suchasAu,Agorplatinumgroupelements(PGEs),thoughinwidelyvaryingconcentrations from0.1to5g/tAu,<1to500g/tAgand<0.2to10g/tPGEs. Copperisdominantlyfoundinmineraldepositsbroadlyclassifiedasporphyry,sedimenthosted andvolcanicmassivesulfides(VMS),andtogethertheseoretypesaccountforsome90%of copperproductionthroughoutmostofthetwentiethcentury(Gerst,2008).PorphyryCu depositsareformedbyigneousintrusionswhichintroducehydrothermalalterationand precipitateCu,ofteninassociationwithAu,Agand/ormolybdenum(Mo),withgradesoften rangingfrom0.2to1%Cubutsizesreachinguptobillionsoftonnes.SedimenthostedCu depositsareformedbyhydrothermalsolutionsreleasedintoawaterreservoir,commonlythe ocean,leadingtotheformationofmetalrichlayers.Thesearealsoknownassedimentary exhalative(orSedEx)deposits,withcommongradesof1to3%Cuandsizesfromtensto hundredsofmillionsoftonnes.VMSCudeposits,asthenameimplies,arecloselyrelatedto volcanicactivity,wherebyhydrothermalsolutionsderivedfromvolcanism,generallyonthe oceanfloor,leadtotheformationofsulfidemineralsrichinCuandcommonlyassociatedwith Pb,Zn,AuandAg.Gradescanberich,rangingfrom1to10%Cuandhighlyvariablegradesfor othermetals,butsizesarecommonlysmallerandintheorderoftensofmillionsoftonnes, althoughthereareoftenmanysuchdepositsinaregion.OtherimportanttypesofCudeposits

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

includeironoxidecoppergold(orIOCG),magmatic(orbasaltrelated)NiCuores,aswellas oxidedeposits(i.e.weatheredores)andnative(elemental)Cuores.

3.3. Global Copper Resources


NationalestimatesofeconomicCuresourcesovertimeforselectedcountriesareshownin Figure3.1.
100 400
USA - Reserves USA - Reserves Base

Economic Cu Resources (Mt Cu)

80

Australia Canada Chile - Reserves

320

60

Chile - Reserves Base

240

40

160

20

80

0 1950

0 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010

Chile only (Mt Cu)

Figure 3.1: Historical trends in economic Curesources forAustralia, Canada, Chile and the USA (Mudd &Weng,2012)

AcomprehensivecompilationofCuresourcesundertakenforthisreportbydepositand countryissummarisedinTable3.1,withthe20largestCudepositsinTable3.2.
Table3.1:Compilationofglobalcopperresourcesbycountry(sortedbyMtCu)
Country Chile Peru USA Australia DRC Mexico Indonesia Zambia Canada Russia Mongolia Kazakhstan Poland PNG Philippines Argentina Pakistan Panama No. 47 39 48 150 21 29 5 19 78 12 6 7 4 12 13 6 1 1 Ore/Mt 115,102.5 27,851.9 32,785.6 20,160.5 2,288.9 16,442.6 7,458.9 4,524.5 13,093.7 4,128.3 4,485.0 6,682.0 1,539.0 5,333.8 5,363.3 6,451.5 5,867.8 6,465.0 %Cu 0.54 0.48 0.41 0.63 2.34 0.32 0.67 1.03 0.33 0.95 0.87 0.47 2.00 0.49 0.47 0.39 0.41 0.30 MtCu 627.23 134.47 134.20 126.71 53.64 53.17 50.07 46.74 42.62 39.13 39.09 31.22 30.77 26.08 25.10 25.00 24.06 19.36 Country SouthAfrica India Brazil Iran Fiji Botswana Sweden Finland Laos Zimbabwe Portugal Namibia Spain SaudiArabia Eritrea Greece Thailand Various Total No. 39 14 8 1 1 9 18 31 4 4 1 9 3 3 4 2 2 23 674 Ore/Mt 14,610.3 1,394.4 2,331.3 1,200 2,287.7 1,287.7 2,607.6 2,197.7 399.8 2,138.5 67.2 175.2 33.3 81.3 94.2 192.2 200.0 1,551.4 318,875 %Cu 0.08 0.82 0.48 0.7 0.35 0.51 0.23 0.19 0.80 0.11 2.75 0.80 3.48 1.38 1.13 0.55 0.51 0.28 0.51 MtCu 11.66 11.42 11.29 8.4 8.01 6.59 5.91 4.28 3.20 2.41 1.85 1.41 1.16 1.12 1.06 1.06 1.02 4.38 1,614.9

Notes:No.numberofdeposits;USAUnitedStatesofAmerica;DRCDemocraticRepublicofCongo;PNGPapuaNewGuinea.

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

Table3.2:Top20copperresourcesbydeposit/project(sortedbyMtCu)
Deposit/Project Andina,Chile ElTeniente,Chile OlympicDam,Australia Collahuasi,Chile Chuquicamata,Chile Escondida,Chile Grasberg,Indonesia Pebble,USA TaimyrPeninsula,Russia LosPelambres,Chile LosBronces,Chile BuenavistadelCobre,Mexico RadomiroTomic,Chile RekoDiq,Pakistan Resolution,USA HugoDummettNorth,Mongolia CobrePanama,Panama Toquepala,Peru LosSulfatos,Chile CerroVerde,Peru

Status Op Op Op Op Op Op Op Dep Op Op Op Op Op Dep Dep Dev Dep Op Dep Op

Ore/Mt 19,162 16,756 9,075 9,554 10,497 8,509 4,946 10,777 2,188 5,818 6,420 8,388 7,247 5,868 1,624 1,426 6,465 5,029 1,200 4,038

%Cu 0.59 0.56 0.87 0.81 0.55 0.61 0.81 0.34 1.45 0.53 0.44 0.33 0.37 0.41 1.47 1.39 0.30 0.36 1.46 0.41

gt Au 0.32 0.71 0.31 0.22 0.04 0.22 0.35 0.05

MtCu 113.63 93.50 78.95 77.54 57.31 52.13 40.21 36.56 31.74 30.84 28.39 27.80 26.67 24.06 23.87 19.81 19.36 18.18 17.52 16.72

tAu 2,904 3,493 3,337 486 233 1,291 492 342

Other Metals UAg Ag NiPGMs Mo Mo Ag

Total

144,987

0.58

834.8

12,578

Notes:Opoperating;Devunderdevelopment;Depdeposit;USAUnitedStatesofAmerica.

ForAustralia,anadditional46.0MtCu(tothefigureof85.6MtCuinFigure3.1)isreportedas subeconomicormarginalresources,givingAustraliaatotalof131.6MtCuofidentified resources.Overtime,itiscommonforidentifiedresourcestobeupgradedtoeconomicstatus afterfurtherdrilling,metallurgicalandotherstudies,andbedevelopedforproduction,showing thatthehigherresourcefigureisofimportanceforlongtermplanningormodellingofCu productionscenarios.TheOlympicDamdeposit,at79.0MtCu,representssome60%of AustraliasidentifiedCuresources,showingtheimportanceofsupergiantdeposits. ChileisclearlyinadominantpositioninglobalCuresources,withsome39%ofglobalCu resourcesbasedonourdataand9ofthetop20deposits627.2MtCualsocontrastswiththe USGSreservesestimateof150MtCu(and2008reservesbaseestimateof360MtCu). TheUSGS2010globalestimateofCureservesis~635MtCu,whilethe2008reservesbase estimatewas1,000MtCuyetthe674depositscompiledinthisstudyrepresent1,614.9Mt Cu,some60%higher.Ourdata,however,althoughcertainlycomprehensive,arenot exhaustive,asitdoesnotincludeanyCudepositsinChinaorothercountrieswithknown sizeableCuresources(eg.thedatausedforSarcheshmehinIranbeingseveralyearsold,aswell asseveralsmallersites).Asofthelate1990s,Chinahadidentified913Cudepositscontaining 73.7MtCu,althoughonlyathirdoftheseresourceswereconsideredeconomic(Hongtaoetal.

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

2011).Furthermore,CanadasnationalestimateforeconomicCuresourcesin2009was 7.29MtCu(NRC,variousyears)yetourdatasuggests42.6MtCu.Thislargediscrepancyis mainlyrelatedtothefactthatNaturalResourcesCanada(NRC)onlyincluderesourcesat operatingminesorthoseundergoingdevelopmentinnationalestimatesandexcludemineral resourcesatotherknowndeposits.Similarly,theUSGSestimatestheUSAsCureservesat35 MtCu,the2008reservesbaseat70MtCu,whileourdatasuggests134.2MtCu. AnimportantaspecttonoteisthatoftheCuresourcescompiled,overhalf(834.8MtCu)are containedinthe20largestdepositsalone,withthesedepositsalsocontainingsubstantialAu (andsometimesAg,Mo).Inaddition,thevastmajorityofthesedepositsarealreadybeing mined,meaningthatfutureexpansioninCuproductionmainlyneedstocomefromexpansion atexistingmines(i.e.brownfieldsgrowth),notmerelynewprojectsalone(i.e.greenfields). Finally,thetrendsovertimeinFigure3.2suggestgradualdeclinesinCuresourcesfortheUSA andCanada,comparedtostrong(almostexponential)growthforAustralia.Whilethisis temptingtolabelthedeclinesaspeakcopper,whencontrastingthedatacontainedinFigure 3.2withTable3.1(andnotingdiscussionabove),itisabundantlyclearthattheUSGSestimates ofvariousnationalCuresourcesareasignificantunderestimateofidentifiedCuresources.For example,therecent(~2000)discoveryofthegiantbutdeepResolutionCudepositinArizonain anareaofintensivehistoricalCumining(theMagmaCufield)showsthatthereremains excellentprospectsforexplorationtocontinuetofindnewdeposits,thoughmostlikelyat greaterdepththancurrentandpreviousCumines.Indeed,Australiahascontinuedtofind majornewdepositsoverthepast30years,suchasProminentHill,Rocklands,CadiaRidgeway, Northparkes,NiftyandmostrecentlyCarrapateenaaswellasongoingexpansionatexisting projects(e.g.MtIsa,MtLyell,OlympicDam).

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7
USA Canada World Australia Papua New Guinea
Copper Ore Grade (%Cu)
21 18 15 12 9 6 3 27 24

Copper Ore Grade (%Cu)

3
0 1840 1860 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000

0 1900

1910

1920

1930

1940

1950

1960

1970

1980

1990

2000

2010

Figure3.2:HistoricaltrendsinCuoregradesforAustralia,CanadaandtheUSA(Mudd&Weng,2012)

Atglobalproductionof~16MtCuin2010andeconomicresourcesofmorethan1600MtCu, thisallowsforproductiongrowthforsomedecadesyet.Forcomparison,globalcumulative productionfrom1820to2010was~580.7MtCu. The next section discusses factors affecting the economics of copper production and explores theenvironmentalimpactsofsuchhistoricaldeclinesinoregradeforAustralia.

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4. ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES WITH COPPER MINING IN AUSTRALIA


4.1. Overview of case study mines1
FiveAustralianmineswithdifferenthistoriesofproduction,oregrade,andtechnologyare selectedtoenablefurtherdiscussionsoneconomicandenvironmentalissues.Ashort evaluationofmineoperationsisreviewedinthenextparagraphstoprovideageneral understandingofcasestudiesspecifications. OlympicDamlocatedinSouthAustraliaistheworld'sfourthlargestremainingcopperdeposit ownedbyBHPBilliton.Thispolymetallicmineiscurrentlyoperatingundergroundanddoesall threestepsofmining,smelting,andrefining.OlympicDamreachedtheproductionof196,000 tonnesofcopperby2008whichisalmost20%ofAustraliacopperproductioninthatyear. OsborneminelocatedinQueenslandisacopperconcentrateproducercurrentlyownedby IvanhoeAustraliabeganproductionin1995andchangedfromopencuttoundergroundthree yearsandinrecentyearschangedtoopencutagain. ThehistoryofmininginMtLyelllocatedinTasmaniabelongstoalmosthundredyearsago.Mt Lyellwasthefirstmineusedlargescaleopencutminingtechnologiesandthefirstmine smeltedtheoreusingnaturalpyritewithinitwithoutanyextracoke.In1972MtLyellchanged toanundergroundmineandshotthesmeltersin1969.Currently,MtLyellisownedbyCopper MinesofTasmaniaPtyLtd. MtIsaownedbyXstrataMountIsaMinesLtdisanundergroundminelocatedinQueensland whichchangeditstechnologyfromreverberatoryfurnacetoflashsmeltingin1978.MtIsaisa blistercopperproducer.MtIsaproducescopperanodeswhicharethenrailedtoTownsville copperrefineryforrefiningtocathodecopper. ErnestHenrycoppergoldmineislocatedinQueenslandandisownedbyXstrata.Thismine commercialproductionbeganinMay1998.Thisisanopencutoperationmineproducing concentrate.TheconcentrateoutputisthentransferredtoMtIsaforsmelting.RecentlyXstrata hasexportedthefirstmagnetiteconcentrateoriginatingfromErnestHenry. Togetherthesefivecasestudyminesstandfor60%ofAustraliascopperproductionandalmost 50%ofAustraliascopperresources.
Parts of this chapter are taken from Memary et al. 2012, Life Cycle Assessment: a time series analysis of copper, JournalofCleanerProduction
1

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4.2. Economic factors affecting competitiveness


Parametersaffectingthefutureeconomicbenefitsofcopperminingaredividedinto productionandoregrade2.Productionandoregradehistoryofcasestudyminesfrom1940to 2008asmajorminingparametersareanalysedinthissectioninordertoenabledebateson futureeconomicperspectives. AsshowninFigure4.1,averageproductionisgoingupinallmines,whileoregradeaverageis decreasingrapidlyinallminesexceptMtLyell.MtLyellstartedwiththeoregradeof24%in 1894whichisnotshowninFigure4.1(b)thatstartsfrom1940,clarifyingthatallminesinthis studyarefacingadeclineintheiroregrade.ItisalsointerestingtonotethatOlympicDam resourcesarehalfthegradeofoperatingmine.

Figure4.1:production(a)andoregrade(b)throughtime

TherateofproductionincreaseforOlympicDamishigherthanothermines;furthermore,its productionincreasessharplyin1998althoughthereisadeclineinitsoregradeinthesame year.Otherminesshowevidencesofincreaseinproductionwhileoregradeisdecliningtooas


2

Thispaperdoesnotdealexplicitlywithlabourcostsandothereconomiccostssuchasfuelinputs,transport

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

acaseinpointErnestHenryshowsacontinuousincreaseinproductionfrom1998to2005 althoughthereisadecreaseinitsoregradefrom1998to1999specificallyandgenerallyfrom 1998to2005. TheseresultsillustratethatAustraliaisfacingincreasingproductionoflowergradedminesthat increasesenergyconsumption(NorgateandHaque,2010).Howeverifanindustryfacesenergy consumptionincrease,itshouldproviderelativelymoreeconomicalbenefittomaintainthe profitabilityforthenation. However,althoughanalysingenergyconsumptionbydifferentsectorswithprojectionsto2030 alsoshowsthatthehighestrateofgrowthwilloccurintheminingsector,whichispredictedto undergo4.7%annualgrowthbetween2004and2030(AkmalandRiwoe,2005),Toppand colleagueshaveshownthattheproductivityofAustraliasmineralindustryisdecreasing,with multifactorproductivity(MFP)fallingsince2000,thebeginningofthemostrecentmining boom(Toppetal.,2008).Theauthorsattributetwothirdsofthisdeclinetofallingaverageore grades,whichrequirehighercapitalandlabourinputstoproducethesamequantityofore specificallyincaseofenergydensity.Thefinalremaindercanbeattributedtoinvestmentsnot providingreturnsyet.Thisdeclineinproductivityisreflectedinthestagnantgrowthinminings contributiontoAustraliasGDPasToppandcolleagueshavealsonotedtheimpactofthe miningindustrysrelianceonnonrenewableinputs,suchasoil,whichareincreasingly importedasAustraliansownresourcesareexhausted.Althoughthehighestrateofenergy consumptiongrowthhasbeenseeninmining,thisenergyhasnotbeenconvertedvery efficientlyintoproduct,resultinganullcontributiontoGDPgrowthbetweenDecember2009 andDecember2010(ABS,2011).ThisisshowninFigure4.2.

Figure4.2:ContributiontoGDPgrowthbysector(ABS,2011)

Consequently,regardlessofthelevelsofremainingresources,thephysicalpresenceof resourcesdoesnotguaranteetheprofitabilityofextractingandexportingthemifbusiness continuesasusualintheminingindustry.

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

4.3. Environment analysis of copper mining using LCA


LifeCycleAssessment(LCA)isusedtoassesstheenvironmentalconsiderationsofcopper mininginAustralia.ThisreportadaptstheLCAguidedevelopedbyCMLatLeidenUniversity (Guineetal.,2001)toconductatimedependentLCAanalysisforabetterunderstandingof impactsovertimeasproposedbyJeswanietal.(Jeswanietal.,2010)intheirdiscussionof optionsforbroadeninganddeepeningtheassessment.ThefourmainstagesofLCAanalysis includegoalandscopedefinition;inventoryanalysis;impactassessment;andinterpretation (ISO,2006).Inthisreporttheinventoryanalysisisrecalculatedatyearlytimestepstogenerate atimeseriesimpactassessment.CMLprovidespracticesformidpointindicatorsand operationalisingtheISO14040seriesofStandards.Normalisationandweightingofimpact categoriesisnotundertaken. LCAmodelsusedarebasedondominantpyrometallurgicalprocesseswhichhavebeenusedin Australiancasestudyminesinthestudyperiodfrom19402008whicharedirecttoblisterflash smelting,reverberatoryfurnaces,andIsasmeltalthoughnoreverberatoryfurnacesare currentlyusedinAustralia.HydrometallurgyhasbeenusedinsomeAustralianminessuchas Nifty,butthistechnologyisnotdiscussedinthisreportsincenoneofthecasestudymineshas useditduringthestudyperiodofthispaper.AnalysisisdoneforfivemainAustraliancopper minesincludingOlympicDam,ErnestHenry,MtIsa,MtLyell,andOsborne. 4.3.1. Analysed technologies

Reverberatoryfurnace: Before1950sReverberatorysmeltingwasthemaincoppersmeltingtechnologyintheworld (Davenportetal.,2002).Throughthisprocess,Fluidbedormultihearthroastersareusedto producealowsulphurcalcineforinjectionintothehearthareainlieuofgreencharging.Flux materialisaddedwiththeredhotcalcinebymeansoffettlingpipeswhichdistributethecharge materialalongtheinsidelongwallsoftherectangularfurnacelinedwithbasicandinsulating refractories(MoskalykandAlfantazi,2003). Thistraditionalmethodofconcentratesmeltingisstillusedworldwide(MoskalykandAlfantazi, 2003),butinrecentdecades,reverberatoryfurnacesarebeingsupersededformoreefficient, lowercostflashsmelters(Davenportetal.,2002).Theprocessflowofreverberatoryfurnace operationusedinLCAmodelsisshowninFigure4.3(Giurcoetal.,2006).

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

Figure4.3:Reverberatoryfurnaceprocessflow(Giurcoetal.,2006)

Flashsmeltinganddirecttoblister: FlashsmeltingwasdevelopedbyOutokumpucompanyafterWorldWarIIinresponsetothe electricenergyshortageinFinlandin1949(Kojoetal.,2000).Aroundhalfofallsmelters operatingusethistechnology,andisstillbeinginstalledinnewminingsites(Hannialaetal., 1999).Flashsmeltingemploysoxygenatedairtopromoteautogenousconditions.Today,itis perceivedthatOutokumpuinstallationsaccountfor3550%ofinstalledsmeltingcapacity worldwide(MoskalykandAlfantazi,2003).TheprocessflowinflashsmeltingusedinLCA modelsisshowninFigure4.4andfurtherdetailontheinventoryinputsandoutputscanbe foundin(Giurcoetal.,2006).

Figure4.4:Flashsmeltingprocessflow(Giurcoetal.,2006)

Avariationonflashsmeltingiscalleddirecttoblister,whichcombinesthesmeltingand convertingstagestogetherandproducesblistercopperdirectlyfromconcentrateinonestage. directtoblisterisacontinuousautothermalprocessthatpossessesadvantagessuchasthe isolationofsulphurdioxideintoasinglegasstream,reducedenergyconsumption,andreduced capitalandoperationcosts(Davenportetal.,2002).Inordertomodeldirecttoblister;the

26

Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

convertingstageintheflashsmeltingmodelismergedintosmeltingstage.Inputs,suchas oxygenenrichedairblastandthepercentofcopperinorefeeds,andoutputsareresetbased ondirecttoblisterprinciples.Itisworthnotingthatdirecttoblisterflashsmeltinggenerates highpercentagesofdust,andrecyclingthemconsumesenergybutthiseffectisnotconsidered inthemodels. IsasmeltTM TheIsasmeltTMprocesswasdevelopedinMountIsa,inQueensland,Australiaasacollaboration withCSIRO(Erringtonetal.,1997).Itisabathsmeltingtechnologythatfeaturestheinsertionof alanceintotheslagtoinjectoxygenenrichedairinthemoltenbath.Thismodificationcreates turbulencethatincreasestheproductivityofreactionwithfeedmaterials(ArthurandEdwards, 2003).HereitisworthnotingthatoperationsatMtIsamanagesulphurdioxideemissionsfrom thisprocessindistinctiveways,withsulphurdioxideemittedtotheairattheconversionstage, butcapturedinsmeltingstage,andsince1999convertedtosulphuricacid.However,as comparedwithIsasmeltTM,thefeedconcentrateindirecttoblisterflashsmeltinghastobepre dried,introducingadditionalenergyrequirementsandGHGemissions. 4.3.2. LCA Results

Thissectionoutlinestheresultsofthetimeserieslifecycleassessmentmodelswithtime varyinginputparametersforGlobalWarmingPotential,Acidificationpotentialand PhotochemicalOzoneCreationPotential.Wateraccessanddisposalisalsoasignificant environmentalissueforcopperminingandprocessingbutisnotexaminedindetailinthiscase study. GlobalWarmingPotential(GWP) Figure4.5(a)showsthetotalannualglobalwarmingpotentialofmineswhichisusedto measureGWPfrom1940to2008.OlympicDamhassharplysurpassedalloperationsby2000 andreachedmorethan1922ktofcarbondioxideequivalentsby2004coincidingwitharapid increaseinproduction.ThenexthighestrateofglobalwarmingpotentialbelongstoMtIsathat reachedtomorethan800ktbytheendof1996beforeinstallingIsasmeltTMfurnace.Average annualcarbondioxideproductionpermineisgentlyinclininginMtLyell(excludingthedropin 1969duetosmeltershutdown).However,thismineonlyproducescopperconcentrate,rather thanrefinedcopperasisthecaseforOlympicDamandMtIsa/Townsville.Osborneshowsa smoothdecreaseinGWPafter2005whichisduetochangesinproduction,oregrade,and transitionstoopencutmining.

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

Changeto TM Isasmelt Smelter Shutdown

Figure4.5:Globalwarmingpotentialthroughtime(OlympicDamMine/Smelter;MtIsa Mine/Smelter;MtLyellmineonly;ErnestHenrymineonly;Osbornemineonly)

Inordertoclarifywhichstepsarethemaincontributorstocarbondioxideproductioninmining, adeeperlookintotheLCAmodelsisundertaken.ComparingtheresultsofMtIsaandOlympic Dam,after2000,showsahigherlevelofcarbondioxideinOlympicDamalthoughthelevelof productioninbothminesisveryclose.ThisindicatesthattheloweroregradeatOlympicDam, combinedwiththeuseofdirecttoblisterflashsmeltingresultsinhigherGWPperyear,when comparedMtIsa,whichhashigheroregradesandusestheIsasmeltTMprocess.Regardingthe impactofchangestothetypeofmining,figuresforMtLyellshowanincreaseinannualcarbon dioxideproductionfrom1972duetothehigherelectricityfeedrateinundergroundmining. TheotherimportantpointinFigure4.5isMtIsaGWPperunitofcopperwhichdropsafter installingIsasmeltTM,butstartstoincreaseaftersomeyears.Thisfactconfirmsthatthepositive effectoftechnologyimprovement,after1997,waslostinfewyearsduetochangeinother parameters,suchasadecreaseinoregrade.

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

ThecontributionofeachtypeofoperationtocarbondioxideproductionatMtIsa,iscompared inFigure4.6.ThiscomparisonshowsthatthemainpartofCO2productioncomesfrommining andmilling,thenfromsmelting.Thesmeltingcontributionisalmosthalftheminingandmilling contribution.Oregradedeclineandproductionincreasesappeartohaveadominanteffecton carbondioxideproductioninmining,withamajorimpactonconcentrateproduction.This processstartswiththeoremillingandendswithaconcentratethatistheinputtosmelting process.Consequently,loweroregrademakestheconcentrateproductionmoreenergy intense,requiringmoreoretobemilledtoproducethesameamountofconcentrate.Hence,if atechnologyisexpectedtoreducecarbondioxideproductionofcopperminesinthefuture,it shouldhaveadirecteffectonconcentrateproductionortheearlyprocessingofore.
7% 5% 3% 1%

Miningandmilling Smelting GasTreatment Electrorefining Converting SlagCleaning

27%

57%

Figure4.6:ContributionofeachminingoperationtocarbondioxideproductionInMtIsa(2008)

Inordertolookattheglobalwarmingpotential,fromtheperspectiveoffinalcopper consumersconcernedabouttheircarbonfootprint,plottingthecarbondioxideproduction overunitofcopperasshowninFigure4.5(b)ishelpful.Figure4.5(b)showstheaverageimpact pertonneofcopperproducedinMtLyelldropsaftershuttingdownthesmelterswhich removestheimpactsfromsmeltingbutagainincreasesafterswitchingtoundergroundmining andincreaseinelectricityuse.Interestingly,by2008thelevelofGWPperunitofcopper surpassesthelevelin1965beforeshuttingdownthesmeltersthathighlightstheeffectof increasingproductionwhichalmostreachesdoublethelevelin1965.Theotherinteresting pointinFigure4.5(b)ishigherlevelsofGWPperunitofcopperinOlympicDamcomparingto MtIsaalthoughinsomeyears,productionishigherandoregradeislowerinOlympicDam whichshowstheeffectofdifferenttechnologies. ErnestHenryandOsborneshowfluctuatingcarbondioxideproductionpertonneofcopper. Thisvariabilitycreatesuncertaintyregardingfutureenvironmentalperformanceofthemines, andthecoppertheyproduce.Thisresultclarifiestheimportanceofminingparametersand regionalLCAfactorinfootprintcalculationofproductsthatusemineralcommodities.Italso confirmstheimportanceofLCAfordecisionmakinginthemineralindustry,particularlywhen consideringthedifferenceinglobalwarmingpotentialsofproductsassociatedwithdifferent mines.

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

AcidificationPotential(Sulphurdioxide) Sulphurdioxideemissionsarethemainsourceofacidification,andareusedastheacidification calculation source in this paper. As shown in Figure 4.7 (below), a notable point of difference between Mt Isa and Olympic Dam in acidification graphs is the sudden decrease in Mt Isa sulphur dioxide production level after change from reverberatory to IsasmeltTM in 1997. Mt Isa processes include smelting, converting, slag cleaning, smelter and gas treatment as well as miningandmilling,withacopperrecoveryrateof90%.

Changeto TM Isasmelt

Figure4.7:Calculatedacidificationpotentialthroughtime

Themaincontributorstoacidificationarecomingfromsmelteremissionsexitingatthegas treatmentstage(85%fromwastes,1%frominputmainlythroughelectricityandoxygenuse) thensmelting(6%fromfueloiluse,1%fromelectricityandoxygenuse),miningandmilling (5.8%fromelectricityuse,0.2%fromdiesel),andelectrorefining(1%fromelectricity).Inthe MtIsasmeltingprocess,theSO2streamisconcentratedasasulphuricacidproduct(H2SO4), whosepotentialforenvironmentaldamageisnotcalculatedinthiscradletogatemodel. 30

Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

Generally,thisdecreaseinacidificationlevelcanbeconsideredasthedominatingeffectof technologychange,however,thetreatmentofsulphuricacidasabyproduct,isnotedas problematicandalsothatnoallocationwasundertaken. At Olympic Dam, sulphur dioxide production shows a smooth increase until 1998, and then experiences a faster increase but remains less than Mt Isa. This result is interesting and shows that the effect of higher SO2eq/kWh in Mt Isas electricity source is stronger than production and ore grade effect in this case. Furthermore, Olympic dam captures all SO2 but Mt Isa just capturesSO2comingfromsmeltingandlettheSO2fromconvertersemittoair. Photochemicalozonecreationpotential(POCP) Photochemicalozonecreationpotential(POCP)graphs,calculatedinkilogramsofethylene equivalentasapotentialforsmogareshowninFigure4.8.Duringthereverberatoryfurnace useinMtIsaandMtLyell,higherproductioninadditiontohigherregionalLCAcharacterization factorinMtIsaresultsinhigherPOCPinMtIsa.Thisdifferenceremainswithdecreasein distanceafterupgradetoIsasmeltTMinMtIsa.Thedecreaseindistanceisbecauseoftheless fueluseinIsasmeltTMcomparedtothereverberatoryfurnace.ThehighestlevelsofPOCPafter 1998belongtoOlympicDamduetohigherproductionandinmostcasesloweroregradesin additiontolowerPOCPeq./KWh.LCAmodelsshowthatPOCPoriginatesfromdieselandfuel oil(52%),andelectricity(48%). AsshowninFigure4.8(below),averagePOCPissharplyrisinginMtIsaduringthe reverberatoryfurnaceusage,butincreasesmoregentlyafterchangetoIsasmeltTMbecause productionandoregradeinMtIsahavechangedlessoverthisperiodfurthermorefueloilrate islessinIsasmeltTMcomparingtoreverberatoryfurnace.Otherminesarealsoshowslight growthinPOCP.

Figure4.8:Calculatedphotochemicalozonecreationpotential

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

4.4. Summary of economic and environmental challenges


Theeconomicaloverviewshowsthatfallingoregradesandincreasingproductionare decreasingtheproductivityintheminingindustry.Furthermore,thechangesingeological characteristicsalsoincreasetheenvironmentalimpactsofcoppermining.Consequentlyif businesshappensasusualinthecopperminingindustry,itfacesmoreenvironmentalimpacts. Alternativesolutionscouldbemovingtonewtechnologiestoincreasetheenergyefficiencyand decreasetheenvironmentalimpacts,usingcleanenergy,andmovingtonewbusinessmodels whichenhancerecycling. Areviewofpossibletechnologiesandimprovementsareprovidedinthenextchapterfollowed byfuturesuggestionsbasedonWorldEconomicForum(WEF)scenarios.

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

5. TECHNOLOGY ADVANCES IN COPPER MINING AND SMELTING3


Terrestrialcopperdepositsoneartharemainlyintheformsofcoppersulphide,copperiron sulphide,andoxidizedminerals(Davenportetal.,2002).Traditionalmethodsofcopper smeltingincludepyrometallurgy,generallyforsulphideoresandhydrometallurgy,mostlyfor oxideores.CoppersulphidesaremorecommonlyprocessedviapyrometallurgyinAustralia.

5.1. Hydrometallurgy and Pyrometallurgy


HistoricallythedominantpyrometallurgicalprocessesusedinAustralianmineswereflash smeltingandreverberatoryfurnacesalthoughtheSO2pollutingreverberatoryfurnacesceased production.HydrometallurgyhasbeenusedinsomeAustralianminessuchasNiftywhichis currentlyclosed. ThemostprominenthydrometallurgicalprocessingrouteisHeapLeach,SolventExtractionand ElectroWinning(SX/EW).SX/EWisatwolevelprocess.Atfirstcopperionsareextractedfrom leachsolutionsderivedfrompassingsulphuricacidoveranoreheapandconcentratedinto electrolyte,andthencopperisformedusinganelectrolyticprocedure.Solventextraction followedbyelectrowinning.SX/EWhasbecomeisakeyprocessfortherecoveryofcopper fromsolutionsobtainedbyleachinglowgradecopperoxideore(Aminianetal.,2000). Inadditiontothemethodsdescribedabove,newmethodsareunderdevelopmentatthe momentwiththepotentialforincreasingapplication.Studyingtheeffectofthesenew technologyclassesandnewmethodsoftradingandaddingvaluetometalcyclesisusefulfor consideringhowtheywouldchangetheenvironmentalimpactsofcoppermining.Bioleaching, insitumininganddeepseaminingareconsideredtobefuturetechnologieshappeninginthe copperminingindustries.Regardingotheradvances,increasingdesireforrecyclingandusing productservicesystemsarereviewedinthispaper.

5.2. Bioleaching
Bioleachingisproposedasasimpleandeffectivetechnologyextractingmetalsfromlowgrade oresorconcentrates(Bosecker,1997).Thistechnologyhasdevelopedrapidlyinthecourseof thelastdecade(Rohwerderetal.,2003).Thisisconsideredtobeanalternativeforsmeltingor roastingwhentherearelowerconcentrationsofmetalinore.Thebacteriafeedsonnutrients inminerals,therebyseparatingthemetalthatleavestheorganism'ssystem;thenthemetalcan becollectedinasolutionandrecoveredusingSolventExtractionandElectroWinning(SX/EW).
PartsofthisandthefollowingchapteraretakenfromMuddetal2011.Commodityfutures: lifeofresourcestrategiesforcopperandgold,MineralsEngineering(submitted).
3

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

Theeconomicfeasibilityofbioleachingisrelatedtothelevelofpreciousnessofmetal;however otherfactorssuchasrelativecostofmetaltoextractioncostandavailableinfrastructuresfor smeltingmayaffectthefeasibility.Forsometypesofmetal,suchascopper,bioleachingisnot alwayseconomicallyfeasibleorfastenough,evenwithitslowcapitalcost.

5.3. In-Situ Leaching (ISL)


InSituLeaching(ISL)isalsocalledinsiturecovery(ISR)orsolutionmining.Itworksbypumping asolutionthroughboreholesundergroundtocontactthemineraldepositthenthemetalrich solutionisbroughttothesurfaceandrefined,usingforexamplesolventextraction electrowinning.Usingthisprocesshelpseliminatingmainpartsofconventionalminingand grinding.Thisprocesshasthepotentialforsignificantenvironmentalimpactssuchas contaminatingundergroundwatercontamination(Tayloretal.,2004).Furthermore,economic feasibilityisalsoverydependentongeologicalcharacteristicsoftheoresuchasgrade.The techniqueiscurrentlyusedforuraniummining(seeMudd,2001)andthereisaproposalfora coppermineinFlorence,USA(seehttp://www.florencecopper.com/s/Home.asp)andthe technologyhasbeeninvestigatedbyCSIRO.

5.4. Deep sea mining


Thefirstcontinuouspilotscaledeepseaminingproductionwasinstalledinthefloorofthe Pacificoceanin1978andtheinterestsforproductionoforebearingmineralsfromthedeep increasedin1979(Bath,1989).Depositsinterrestrialcopperminesusuallycontainlessthan 1%copperhoweversaysthereareevidencesofhigheravailableoregradesunderwaterlike 10%copper.Whilstthetechnologyofferspotentialdespitetechnicalhurdles,socialand environmentalissuesmustbemanagedbeforelargescaledeploymentcanbeexpected.The firstseafloormassivesulphideminesarelikelytobeginproductionin2013inNewZealandand PapuaNewGuinea(ELLIS,2003;Munro,2011).

5.5. Recycling
Recyclingisawaytogetcopperfromendoflifeproductswhichcontainscopperwith potentiallylessenvironmentalimpactscomparedwithprimaryminingandwithlesscost, especiallyforhighlypurecopperstreamswhichcanberemeltedratherthanlowerqualityscrap whichneedstobesortedandresmelted.Theeconomicsoftendependonthecostsof collectingmaterialandthevalueofpreciousandothermetals.Formalrecyclingisalsoexpected toprovidejobsandsocialbenefits,howeverthereareseriousenvironmentalandsocialimpacts oftheinformalrecyclingsectoroccurringincountriessuchasIndia. ThepotentialforincreasingthecopperrecyclinginAustraliaisestimatedas30%oftheendof lifematerialgeneratedinAustraliawhichisnotcurrentlyrecycledandequalsto23,000tper year(VanBeersetal.,2007).Consideringthevalueofcopperinfirstquarter2011as8300$/t thepotentialvalueofthenotrecycledcopperinAustraliawouldbealmost190milliondollars

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

whichsharesahighportionofbenefitbecauseofthelesscostsofrecyclingcomparingtofull miningprocess. Themaincostassociatedwithcollectingthecopperstocksisthecostoftransportation howeverthespatialanalysisonendoflifecopperandzincindicatethatabout50%ofallwaste materialoriginatesinjust10%ofAustraliaslocalgovernmentareas,andmostlyintheurban centres(VanBeersetal.,2007).Whichmeansrecyclingpointsnearstockswhicharemainlyin urbanareaswilldecreasethecost.Figure5.1showstheinusecopperstocksinSydneywhich showsahighdensityincentralcity.

Figure5.1:Sydneyinusecopperstocksin2000(VanBeersandGraedel,2007)

Studyby(VanBeersetal.,2007)onthepotentialquantitiesandpolicyoptionsofcopper recyclinginAustraliashowsthepriorityofcopperrecyclinginAustraliaasfollowings: Plumbingtubefromsinglefamilyhouses Builtinelectricalfromindustrialbuildings Transformersfrompowerdistribution Motorvehicles HVpowercables Overheadwiringfromrailwaytransport Industrialmachinery

TheyalsostatethatrecyclingofallcopperendoflifeinAustraliacouldsupplyupto50%of Australiasdemandoverthecomingthreeyears;whilstonlypartofthesolution,itisanarea needingfurtherresearch.

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

5.6. Product-Service System (PSS)


Abusinessmodelwhichfacilitatesrecycling,reuse,andremanufacturingofproductsisProduct ServiceSystems(PSS).Businessmodelsareimportantpartsofaproductorservicesystemand haveinfluentialeffectonthewholelifecyclemanagementofproductsorservices.Combining productsandservicesandgivingmotivationstoconsumerorproducertocareaboutproduct lifecycleisgoingtobeapromisingmodeltodecreasetotalenvironmentalimpactsofproducts. APSSisanintegratedproductandserviceofferingthatdeliversvalueinuse,forexamplethe purchasingofhourlycarusageoragivennumberoftravelkmsviaanelectricvehiclecar shareprogram,ratherthanpurchasingthecarandfueloutright.APSSofferstheopportunityto decoupleeconomicsuccessfrommaterialconsumptionandhencereducetheenvironmental impactofeconomicactivity.ThePSSlogicispremisedonutilizingtheknowledgeofthe designermanufacturertobothincreasevalueasanoutputanddecreasematerialandother costsasaninputtoasystem(Bainesetal.,2007b). BenefitsofaPSSareofferingofhighervaluethatismoreeasilydifferentiatedtothecustomer; leasefromtheresponsibilitiesofassetownership,andtosocietyatlargeamoresustainable approachtobusiness.However,consumersmaynotbeenthusiasticaboutownerless consumption,andthemanufacturersmaybeconcernedwithpricing,absorbingrisks,andshifts intheorganization,whichrequiretimeandmoneytofacilitate(Bainesetal.,2007a). TechnologiescomparedinTable5.1showanoverallviewofhownewtechnologiesmayaffect environmental,Social,andeconomicalbenefitsofcoppermining.
Table5.1:comparingnewtechnologiesforcopper Bio leaching Environmental Lessenergyintensity required Social Technoeconomics Canbecheaper thantraditional methods Offerspotential forrefractory chalcopyrites Canbecost effective,not efficientforall kindsores Indicative references (Watling,2006)

Insitu mining

Potentialfor groundwater contamination Potentialforless grindingenergy Higheroregrades Structuresaretaken awayaftermining threatensseafloorlife

Deepsea mining

Reducedland disturbance Oppositiondue toitsapplication foruranium mining Community concern

(Hancockand Hinneapolis, 1977)

Higheroregrades soahighervalue; technical challenges

(Scott,2001)

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

Cheaperthan gettingcopper fromlowquality ores;requires transport, collection Decreasingnations demandfornew ores (Ayres,1997)

Recycling

Decreasingimpacts wherehighgrade copperrecycled; Informalvsformal recycling Decreasingtheimpact bymanagingtheend use

Strengthen innovationand valuecapture fromrecycling

PSS

Creatingservice industriesand newjobs

(Schweitzerand Aurich,2010)

5.7. Energy options


Inadditiontousingnewprocessingtechnologieswhichmaybemoreenergyefficient,itisalso possibletoconcentrateonenergyefficiencyinexistingprocessesandlinkingcleanenergyto theminingoperations. Energyefficiencyhasabigpotentialtodecreasetheenvironmentalimpactswhiledecreasing thecostwhichisofminingsectorinterest.Inmining,therearemanyopportunitiestoincrease theefficiency.TheDepartmentofResources,Energy,andTourismreportonfirstopportunities indepth:theminingindustrystatesthatthereisanopportunitytosave8.4PJusingenergy efficiencymeasuresincludingprocesscontrol(41.1%),maintenance(15.6%),energy measurement(14%),retrofitting(12.8%),newtechnology(8.4%),managementsystems (4.8%),staffoperation(2.5%),andresearchanddevelopment(0.8%).Forexample,ina2007 exampletheXstrataCoalNewSouthWaleswasidentifiedasbeingabletosave13686GJ throughimplementing47costeffectiveenergyefficiencyprojectswhichmeansreductionof 3,700tonnesofcarbondioxide.TheotherexampleistheopportunityidentifiedbyBHPBilliton (2008)inusingautoshutoffsforlightingplantswhichcouldsaveupto17TJannually.Some otherenergyefficiencyopportunitiesinminingindustryareshowninTable5.2whichsomeof themarenotyettakenup.Forfurthercasessee http://www.ret.gov.au/energy/Documents/energyefficiencyopps/sigopp register/MiningRegisterDec2010.pdf
Table5.2:Examplesofenergyefficiencyopportunitiesinmining. Company AngloGoldAshanti AustraliaLimited AngloGoldAshanti AustraliaLimited DownerEDILimited GoldFieldsAustraliaPty Ltd Opportunity RemovalofScatsto IncreaseMill Efficiency Watermanagement Compressorairleak Reducingthe numberofvehicles leavingthesite Category Investmentinnew technologies Improvementin processcontrol Changesin maintenancepractices Changesinstaff operation Expectedenergy saving 6,060GJ/year

704GJ/year 475GJ/year 1026GJ/year

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

Theotheroptionisusingcleanenergysources.Ascurrentelectricitypricesarehigherinremote locations,thecosteffectivenessofinstallingcleanenergypowerplantsnearminesinremote placeswillincreaseinthefutureifthepowerplantscanprovidetherequiredbaseloadpower duringtheminelife.However,howdifferentdriversmightincreasecleanenergyuseinthe copperminingindustryrequiresanalysingthepossiblecleanenergyoptionsinAustralia(see Memaryetal.2011).PossiblecleanenergyoptionsinAustraliainclude: Solar(solarthermalandsolarphotovoltaic) Windturbines Energyfrombiomassandwastematerials Hybridfuels.

Theeonomicviabilityofeachoptiondependsonthelocationofmineandpotentialof renewablesinthatpoint.Asacaseinpointlookingatconcentratedsolarthermaltechnology andsolarradiationmapofAustraliamergedwithcopperminingmapsinFigure5.2showsa highpotentialforusingconcentratedsolarthermalpowerplantstosupplycoppermines especiallyminesinwesternQueenslandsuchasMtIsawhicharenotconnectedtothenational grid.TheotheropportunityisOlympicdamasahugecoppermineanddepositinSouth Australia.

Figure5.2:LocationsofcopperminesonthesolarradiationmapofAustralia(AustralianMinesAtlas andCRESANU)

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

6. EXPLORING FUTURE SCENARIOS FOR COPPER


6.1. EFFECTS OF ORE GRADE CHANGE, TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENTS AND BUSINESS MODELS
Inordertogetabetterunderstandingofhowchangesinthefuturecopperminingindustrymay affectimpactsofmining,environmentallifecyclemodelsforanalysingaselectionofdifferent optionswhichareshowninTable5.1areused.Developedmodelsareusedtoevaluatethe effectofchangesinoregrade,usingcleanerenergytechnologies.Applicationsofrecyclingand productservicesystemsarealsoconsidered. AsshowninTable6.1,threedifferentoptionsareanalysedtoshowtheeffectofdifferent futureapproachesforcoveringAustraliasdemand.
Table6.1ModellingfuturecoppertechnologyoptionsforAustralia*

*whilstthesupplyofalargeAustraliancopperminewithhydroelectricityisunlikely(asoutlinedinScenario2),ithasbeen exploredasanillustrativecaseofcleanerenergy.Inaddition,importsandexportsarenotconsideredinthesescenarios.

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

Theresultsofdifferentoptionanalysisareshowninfigure6.1Basedontheresults,continuing copperproductionasbusinessasusualandusingflashsmeltingwithfossilfuelfeedendsto incrementalglobalwarming.Howeverusingflashsmeltingandmovingtohydropowerendsto almost50percentdecreaseinglobalwarmingpotentialandbydecreaseinoregradeand increaseinproductionthisdistanceincreasesmeaninghigheraffectivityofcleanenergy applicationinreducingtheimpacts.Furthermore,incaseofmovingtowardsupgradedbusiness approachesandenablingrecyclingandPSS,itispossibletodecreaseimpactsbyalmost15 percentmore.

Figure6.1:Globalwarmingpotentialofeachscenariotill2024

Insummary,analysisshowsthatwhenoregradeisdecreasingandproductionincreasesthe effectofusingcleanenergy,recycling,andPSSisclearer.Meaninginlongterm,inorderto decreaseenvironmentalimpactswithafixedlevel,usingnewbusinessmodelsarenecessary. Andinordertoincreasetherateofdecreaseinglobalwarming,investmentstowardsusing cleanenergyincoppermineralindustryarerequired. Technologyoptionsanalysedinthischapterwerebasedongeneraltechnologiesusedfor mininghoweverwithmoreinsightfromCSIROonthecurrenttechnologiesbeingdevelopedin Australiawewillbeabletoofferamorecomprehensivetechnologyanalysis.

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

6.2. GLOBAL CONTEXT: WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM SCENARIOS


Australiaisfacingamorecompetitivemineralfuture,withthehighpricespaidbyChinain recentyearslikelytofade.Prosperityinthiscontextwilldependonproductiveoperations. Currentpossibleoptionstodecreasetheenvironmentalimpactsandincreasetheproductivity forthecoppermineralandenergyindustryareincreasingtheenergyefficiencyusingnew technologies,increasingtherecycling,andmovingtowardsusingsourcesofcleanenergy. Companiesdecidebetweentheseoptionsbasedontherelativecostsofsuchoptionsandthe degreetowhichtheyneedtodecreasetheirenvironmentalimpact.CurrentAustralianmineral sectorisfacingemergenceofsuppliersindevelopingcountrieswhoareabletoprovidecopper andothermineralswithlowerpriceandlowerenvironmentalpressures.Thesefactswill weakenthepositionofAustraliaasapowerhouseinglobalmineralsectorandrequires adaptionfrommineralsectortoovercomethechallenges.WorldEconomicForum(WEF) providesscenariosdiscussingthefutureofglobalmineralindustry.ThesescenariosareGreen TradeAlliance(GTA),RebasedGlobalism(RG),andResourceSecurity(RS).Inorderto understandhowdriversandregulationsinthemineralindustrymightchange,thesethree comprehensiveWEFscenariosonminingandmetalsto2030areanalysed(see http://www.weforum.org/reports/miningmetalsscenarios2030)andpossibleoptionsfor mineralindustrytomaintainitspositionareevaluated.Eachofthesescenariosexplainshow globalandnationalconditionsforminingischangingprovidingabaselinetodiscuss possibilitiesfortheminingandenergysectorstocollaborate. 6.2.1. Green trade alliance

TheFirstscenarioofWEFminingandmetalsscenariosstatesthatfutureglobalmineraltrade happensbasedonglobalallianceswithsharedenvironmentalstandards,consequentlycash flowswillbelimitedbetweencountrieswithsamelevelsofemissionrates.Currently,average emissionsperunitofprimarymetalsproductioninAustraliaishigherthanworldaverage(Lund etal.,2008).ThisfactshowsthatAustraliancopperminesneedtodecreasetheir environmentalimpactsusingbothnewtechnologieswhichenhanceenergyefficiencyand decreasetheenvironmentalimpacts, 6.2.2. Rebased globalism

RebasedGlobalismhighlightstheemergenceofnewmineralprovidersfromthedeveloping world.Richresourcesofmineralswithhigheroregradeswillchangetheglobalmarketof miningtowardscountrieswhocanofferresourceswithcheaperprice.Thisfactisvery importantforAustraliansocietyandgovernmentbecausemininginAustraliahasformedabig partofAustralianeconomysothewayAustralianminesdealwithfuturemineralmarketswill affectthejobopportunitiesandsocietyinthefuture.ThebarforSocialLicencetooperateis alsosethigherunderthisscenario.

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

IfAustralianminesdecidetocontinuebusinessasusual,sociallicenceandmarketaccesswillbe importantfactorsinsecuringfuturejobopportunitieslossesandrestrainingdamagetothe environment.Consequently,oneoptioninthisscenarioismovingtowardsinnovationsinthe mineralindustry,suchasrecyclingorestablishingnewbusinessmodelslikeproductservice systems.Thesecondchoicecouldinvolvethemineralindustryinactivitiesthatcanprovide benefitsfortheAustraliansocietysuchasexportingminingknowledgeandensuringpositive legacyfromminingoperationstoincreasesociallicence. 6.2.3. Resource security

Resourcesecurityhighlightsthelimitoninternationaltradeofscarcematerials.Thisfactwill makepricesmorevolatileanddecreasesaccesstofinancialcapital.Underthisscenario, countriesareencouragedtoincreaseincountryvalueaddingprocesses,whichrequires extendingthecurrentbusinessmarketofAustraliafromextractingrawmaterialstoprocessed products,howeveraccesstoforeigncapitalrequiredfordevelopmentcouldbedifficult. Theuseofsuchfuturescenariosprovidesalensthroughwhichpotentialfutureresearch directionspursuedinAustraliacanbeassessedfortheirrobustness.

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Coppercasestudy:Australianresources,technologyandfuturescenarios

7. CONCLUDING DISCUSSION
Australiaasoneofthenationswithhighreservesofcopperandlonghistoryofcoppermining hasverywelldevelopedinfrastructureforcopperminingandsmeltingandhasbeenearning profitsfromthisindustryformanyyears.AvailabledepositsinAustraliashowthattherearestill goodremainingdepositsofcopperinthecountry.Forthefirsttime,acomprehensivedatabase ofcopperdepositsforAustraliahasbeencompliedonaminebyminebasisprimarilyusing companydatafromannualreportsandgovernmentstatistics. Notwithstandingsignificantreserves,thegeologicalcharacteristicsofcopperminesinAustralia showsthatoregradesarecomingunder2%inmostofthemineswhichresultsinhighamounts ofenergyintensityforextraction.Asenergypricesrise,thisfactincreasesthecostofmining anddecreasestheprofitabilityoftheindustrywithcurrenttechnologies. Theanalysispresentedinthisreportshowsthechangingimpactprofileassociatedwithcopper miningover70yearsinAustralia.Inshort,efficiencygainsmadebytheintroductionofnew technologiessuchasflashsmeltinginplaceofreverberatorysmeltershavelargelybeeneroded bydeclinesinoregrades.Furthermore,highereffortsrequiredtoextractcopperwithlower gradesfurtherpressuresthenaturalenvironmentandpublichealth. Optionstoaddressthechangesingeologicalandsocialconditionsforminingincludeusingnew technologies.Whilstsignificantfocusintechnologicaldevelopmentisoninsituanddeepsea mining,thesehavesignificantenvironmentalandsocialbarrierstowidescaledeployment. Researchfocusshouldalsobedirectedtolinkingcleanenergysourceswithhigherenergy efficiencyprocessesandthepursuitofenhancedrecyclingtechnologiesandlogistics.These shouldbeevaluatedinthecontextofchangingglobalscenariostopositionAustralianresearch andknowledgedevelopmentforvaluecreationacrosstheremainderofthiscentury.

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TOPP,V.,SOAMES,L.,PARHAM,D.&BLOCH,H.2008.ProductivityintheMiningIndustry:Measurement andInterpretation.:ProductivityCommissionStaffWorkingPaper,December. TREWIN, D. & AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS. 2006. Measures of Australia's Progress, Australian BureauofStatistics. VAN BEERS, D. & GRAEDEL, T. 2007. Spatial characterisation of multilevel inuse copper and zinc stocks inAustralia.JournalofCleanerProduction,15,849861. VAN BEERS, D., KAPUR, A. & GRAEDEL, T. 2007. Copper and zinc recycling in Australia: potential quantitiesandpolicyoptions.JournalofCleanerProduction,15,862877. WATLING, H. R. 2006. The bioleaching of sulphide minerals with emphasis on copper sulphides A review.Hydrometallurgy,84,81108.

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