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Resources, Volume 10, Issue 6 (June 2021) – 11 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Though mining provides the global economy with the materials it needs, it is also associated with large-scale land-use change and severe environmental disturbances. Mine reclamation is mandatory to mitigate the negative impact of mining operations. Evaluating the success of reclamation has been largely focused on vegetation growth, but to fully understand the advantages of reclamation, its overall impact on the environment needs to be widely considered. This case study of an Indonesian coal mining site includes a detailed inventory of reclamation tasks, including the energy and materials consumed, the emissions, and the benefits to the ecosystem. View this paper
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Article
Migration Attractiveness as a Factor in the Development of the Russian Arctic Mineral Resource Potential
Resources 2021, 10(6), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources10060065 - 20 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 597
Abstract
The development of mineral resources in the Arctic territories is one of the priorities of the state policy of Russia. This endeavor requires modern technologies, high-quality personnel, and a large number of labor resources. However, the regions of the Arctic are characterized by [...] Read more.
The development of mineral resources in the Arctic territories is one of the priorities of the state policy of Russia. This endeavor requires modern technologies, high-quality personnel, and a large number of labor resources. However, the regions of the Arctic are characterized by difficult working and living conditions, which makes them unattractive to the working population. The research objectives were to study the importance of Arctic mineral resources for the Russian economy, the Arctic mineral resource potential, and the migration attractiveness of Arctic regions. The migration processes in these locations were analyzed and modeled using a new econometric tool—complex-valued regression models. The authors assume that the attractiveness of the Arctic regions is determined by the level of their social and economic development and can be assessed using a number of indicators. A comparative analysis of four regions that are entirely in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation was carried out based on the calculation of integral indicators of the social and economic attractiveness of these territories. Forecasting migration growth using the proposed complex-valued models produced better results than simple trend extrapolation. The authors conclude that complex-valued economic models can be successfully used to forecast migration processes in the Arctic regions of Russia. Understanding and predicting migration processes in the Arctic will make it possible to develop recommendations for attracting labor resources to the region, which will contribute to the successful development of its resource potential. The methodology of this study includes desk studies, a graphical method, arithmetic calculations, correlation analysis, statistical analysis, and the methods of the complex-valued economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resource Provision of the Sustainable Development under Global Shocks)
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Article
Current and Foreseen Tungsten Production in Portugal, and the Need of Safeguarding the Access to Relevant Known Resources
Resources 2021, 10(6), 64; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10060064 - 18 Jun 2021
Viewed by 518
Abstract
The economic and strategic importance of tungsten is widely recognized, but several concerns exist on its stable future supply. Portugal is one of the main tungsten producers in Europe, having generated ≈121 kt of contained tungsten in mineral concentrates from 1910 to 2020, [...] Read more.
The economic and strategic importance of tungsten is widely recognized, but several concerns exist on its stable future supply. Portugal is one of the main tungsten producers in Europe, having generated ≈121 kt of contained tungsten in mineral concentrates from 1910 to 2020, i.e., ≈3.3% of the global production documented for the same time period. Since the early nineties, tungsten mining in Portugal is confined to the Panasqueira deposit which accounts for 79% of the country reserves (≈5.4 kt). However, according to the performed Generalized Verhulst and Richards curve-fitting forecasts, there is a significant future potential for increasing production in Portugal due to the low (<2%) depletion rates of the remaining known tungsten resources (≈141 kt). This projected growth is not necessarily guaranteed, depending on many unpredictable economic, technological, and political factors, besides appropriate social consents. Even so, a prudent land-use planning oriented to long-term needs should avoid the sterilization of the most relevant tungsten resources so far identified in the country. These are resources of “public importance”, as objectively demonstrated with a weighed multi-dimensional (geological, economic, environmental, and social) approach. Safeguarding the access to these resources does not implicate more than ≈6% of the Portugal mainland territory. The joint interpretation of results independently gathered for tungsten production forecasts and for the definition of areas hosting tungsten resources of public importance, provides additional support to political decisions on the urgent need to reconcile mineral exploration surveys and mining with other land uses. Full article
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Review
Towards Better Valorisation of Industrial Minerals and Rocks in Serbia—Case Study of Industrial Clays
Resources 2021, 10(6), 63; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10060063 - 17 Jun 2021
Viewed by 524
Abstract
The improvement in valorisation of industrial minerals and rocks in Serbia is related to improvement of legislation, and to adoption of best possible techniques for geological exploration and estimation of resources/reserves. Therefore, we analyzed the actual practice in the field of geological exploration [...] Read more.
The improvement in valorisation of industrial minerals and rocks in Serbia is related to improvement of legislation, and to adoption of best possible techniques for geological exploration and estimation of resources/reserves. Therefore, we analyzed the actual practice in the field of geological exploration which has not changed significantly in the last 30 years, as well as legislation related to the mining industry and access to land. The improvement of legislation mostly depends on the state authorities. Contrary to that, the enhancement of geological exploration methodology should be the issue of experts working in that area of the mining industry but is also very much related to the existing legislation. Serbia still has very strictly prescribed procedures, which are generally good; however, it is an overly complicated and restrictive system for performing geological exploration and evaluation of mineral deposits. The most important improvements in legislation in the last twenty years are presented and discussed, as well as problems that still need to be solved and solutions found to fully understand the potential of industrial minerals and rocks in Serbia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Deposit Safeguarding in the EU)
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Article
Urban Population Flood Impact Applied to a Warsaw Scenario
Resources 2021, 10(6), 62; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10060062 - 14 Jun 2021
Viewed by 740
Abstract
The provision of detailed information on the impact of potential fluvial floods on urban population health, quantifying the impact magnitude and supplying the location of areas of the highest risk to human health, is an important step towards (a) improvement of sustainable measures [...] Read more.
The provision of detailed information on the impact of potential fluvial floods on urban population health, quantifying the impact magnitude and supplying the location of areas of the highest risk to human health, is an important step towards (a) improvement of sustainable measures to minimise the impact of floods, e.g., by including flood risk as a design parameter for urban planning, and (b) increase public awareness of flood risks. The three new measures of the impact of floods on the urban population have been proposed, considering both deterministic and stochastic aspects. The impact was determined in relation to the building’s function, the number of residents, the probability of flood occurrence and the likely floodwater inundation level. The building capacity concept was introduced to model population data at the building level. Its proposed estimation method, an offshoot of the volumetric method, has proved to be successful in the challenging study area, characterised by a high diversity of buildings in terms of their function, size and density. The results show that 2.35% of buildings and over 122,000 people may be affected by 500-year flooding. However, the foreseen magnitude of flood impact on human health is moderate, i.e., on average ten persons per residential building over the 80% of flood risk zones. Such results are attributed to the low inundation depth, i.e., below 1 m. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis of Extreme Hydrometeorological Events)
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Article
CC(U)S Initiatives: Public Effects and “Combined Value” Performance
Resources 2021, 10(6), 61; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10060061 - 08 Jun 2021
Viewed by 672
Abstract
The changes in climate, which are associated with the emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, have been widely discussed by scientists and specialists during the last few decades. The promising way to reduce CO2 emission is to implement CC(U)S technologies (carbon capture, (utilization) [...] Read more.
The changes in climate, which are associated with the emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, have been widely discussed by scientists and specialists during the last few decades. The promising way to reduce CO2 emission is to implement CC(U)S technologies (carbon capture, (utilization) and storage). However, CC(U)S initiatives are challenging that prevent their widespread adoption. The main purpose of the research is to prove that CC(U)S should be considered broader than a way to reduce emission, and such initiatives could lead to various public effects and create long-term “combined value” for the industry and wider society; all of these should be considered when making decisions on CC(U)S implementation. The results of the research are presented by highlighting bi-directional interaction between CC(U)S and society, including public acceptance and public effects; identifying the possible positive and negative impact of CC(U)S initiatives on the public; developing a system of indicators for assessing the public effects of CC(U)S; proposing the framework for a value at stake analysis (VAS) of CC(U)S initiatives in order to reveal and assess their “combined value”. The methodology of this study includes desk studies, decomposition technique, environment (E), health (H) and safety (S) (EHS) approach, classification techniques, and VAS analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewables Application: Challenges and Perspectives)
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Article
Evaluation of Environmental and Economic Benefits of Land Reclamation in the Indonesian Coal Mining Industry
Resources 2021, 10(6), 60; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10060060 - 07 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 743
Abstract
While the successful reclamation of coal post-mining land sites in Indonesia has been evaluated, no cost-benefit analysis has been carried out on the reclamation of mined land, and the impact of the reclamation work has not been determined. The results of this case [...] Read more.
While the successful reclamation of coal post-mining land sites in Indonesia has been evaluated, no cost-benefit analysis has been carried out on the reclamation of mined land, and the impact of the reclamation work has not been determined. The results of this case study indicate that reclamation work is not an emission-free process, but that the benefits delivered from this work are considerable. It was found that the emissions involved at the coal mined reclamation in Indonesia were 25.4–26.6 t-CO2/ha, with topsoil management and land preparation contributing over 98% of the total emissions (9.5 t-CO2/ha and 16 t-CO2/ha, respectively). The ability of the trees on the reclaimed land to absorb CO2 emissions was calculated to be 26.4 t-CO2/ha, with the amount of oxygen produced calculated to be as much as 143 t-O2/ha of oxygen. The economic value of the ecosystem services delivered by reclamation was over USD 27,750/ha. This is higher than the USD 8642–9417/ha cost of establishing the reclamation work. Improvements to reclamation work could be designed mining and reclamation plans with attention paid to reducing fuel consumption, and therefore, reducing CO2 emissions. Furthermore, law enforcement and transparency, human resource development, and community participation are strongly required. Full article
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Article
Protein Hydrolysates from Flaxseed Oil Cake as a Media Supplement in CHO Cell Culture
Resources 2021, 10(6), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10060059 - 07 Jun 2021
Viewed by 676
Abstract
This is the first report about flaxseed protein hydrolysates applied as media supplements in CHO cell culture. The hydrolysates were produced by three separate enzymatic digestions of proteins isolated from flaxseed oil cake. The enzymes used were Alcalase, Neutrase, and Protamex [...] Read more.
This is the first report about flaxseed protein hydrolysates applied as media supplements in CHO cell culture. The hydrolysates were produced by three separate enzymatic digestions of proteins isolated from flaxseed oil cake. The enzymes used were Alcalase, Neutrase, and Protamex, and the most efficient hydrolysis was achieved with Alcalase. The three hydrolysates were first tested as a partial substitute for serum in basal media in order to evaluate their effects on the adherent IgG-producing CHO cell line. The cells that grew in such media reached higher density than the cells in media supplemented with serum only. Consequently, the increased cell number improved the final IgG titer. In the next experiment, the impact of hydrolysates was evaluated in suspension CHO culture adapted to chemically defined media. In this preliminary investigation, the cells showed no response to the hydrolysate addition concerning the growth rate and productivity. Despite this outcome, we speculate that low molecular mass components in the hydrolysates, besides nutritive, may have a cell-protective function. Full article
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Article
Hydrometallurgical Process to Recover Cobalt from Spent Li-Ion Batteries
Resources 2021, 10(6), 58; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10060058 - 07 Jun 2021
Viewed by 838
Abstract
The growth of the lithium-ion battery industry requires a secure supply of raw materials and appropriate end-of-life management of batteries. In almost five years, global cobalt consumption has increased by nearly 30%, driven mainly by rechargeable batteries. Consequently, several risks have been identified [...] Read more.
The growth of the lithium-ion battery industry requires a secure supply of raw materials and appropriate end-of-life management of batteries. In almost five years, global cobalt consumption has increased by nearly 30%, driven mainly by rechargeable batteries. Consequently, several risks have been identified for cobalt, in particular the growing demand for electric vehicles, which could exceed current production. Therefore, research into the recovery of this critical metal, from industrial or urban waste, is particularly important in the years to come. In this study, cobalt is recovered from a lithium-ion battery leachate in hydroxide form. The thermodynamic simulations performed with Visual Minteq showed that it was possible to recover 99.8% of cobalt (II) hydroxide at 25 °C. Based on these results, experiments were conducted to validate the hypotheses put forward and to compare the results obtained with the simulations performed. Experimentally, several operating parameters were studied to determine the optimal conditions for cobalt recovery, in terms of yield, filterability, and selectivity. Results obtained in a batch reactor allowed the determination of the temperature conditions to be applied in continuous reactor. The cobalt (II) hydroxide precipitation in continuous reactor was carried out under different pH conditions. It was then possible to determine the optimal conditions for cobalt recovery in terms of yield and filterability. Results showed that working at pH 9 would effectively meet the desired criteria. Indeed, cobalt recovery is close to 100% and filtration flow rate is three times higher. Results obtained allow a better understanding of cobalt (II) hydroxide precipitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery of Metals from Alternative and Urban Ores)
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Article
Formulation of Development Strategies for Regional Agricultural Resource Potential: The Ukrainian Case
Resources 2021, 10(6), 57; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10060057 - 01 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1009
Abstract
The agricultural sector is one of the leading ones in the economy of many countries, as it creates the basis for their economic growth. Every region in every country has its own unique sphere of social reproduction due to different resource potential, i.e., [...] Read more.
The agricultural sector is one of the leading ones in the economy of many countries, as it creates the basis for their economic growth. Every region in every country has its own unique sphere of social reproduction due to different resource potential, i.e., fertile soils, favourable climatic conditions, etc. Under such conditions, it is irrelevant to choose a single development path for this sector. Given these facts, the study formulates development strategies for regional agricultural development of the country. In particular, we grouped regions into clusters according to the level of development of crop production and stockbreeding potential, as well as investment attractiveness. The method of cluster analysis was used to group regions by the level of capacity development, whilst the matrix method was used to formulate a matrix for choice of the strategy to improve the agricultural potential of regions. On the basis of the conducted analysis, the 3D matrix for the choice of investment strategy of the regional agricultural development of the country depending on the level of development of crop production and stockbreeding potential and investment attractiveness was constructed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsible Resource Management in Micro and Macro Scale)
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Article
Adapting the ESSENZ Method to Assess Company-Specific Criticality Aspects
Resources 2021, 10(6), 56; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10060056 - 31 May 2021
Viewed by 838
Abstract
In times of increasing awareness of limited resources, companies are becoming especially interested in criticality assessments. Based on the existing approaches of ESSENZ (integrated method to assess resource efficiency) and SCARCE (approach is to enhance the assessment of critical resource use at the [...] Read more.
In times of increasing awareness of limited resources, companies are becoming especially interested in criticality assessments. Based on the existing approaches of ESSENZ (integrated method to assess resource efficiency) and SCARCE (approach is to enhance the assessment of critical resource use at the country level), a method called CS-ESSENZ (company-specific ESSENZ) has been developed to measure the company-specific aspects of criticality and social impact in supply chains for abiotic resources. These comprise 20 categories and corresponding indicators, based on 19 ESSENZ and 25 SCARCE categories. Eleven of these indicators were modified, four were newly developed (e.g., economic importance), and the last five were applied as they are in ESSENZ or SCARCE. CS-ESSENZ was tested using the case study of a smartphone, demonstrating the method’s applicability as well as generating additional information on company-specific improvement potential. The results for supply risk showed that 29 out of 58 ESSENZ hotspots showed high, and 12 showed medium, improvement potential from the company perspective. CS-ESSENZ enables companies to obtain specific information on criticality and social aspects in their supply chains and points out areas for improvement, e.g., with respect to purchasing strategies for cobalt. Full article
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Article
Municipal Urban Waste Management—Challenges for Polish Cities in an Era of Circular Resource Management
Resources 2021, 10(6), 55; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/resources10060055 - 21 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 713
Abstract
Municipal authorities increasingly view environmental protection as one of the goals of city management. The pro-environmental orientation of cities can, therefore, foster the creation of new management methods and instruments and promote reorganization of determining material flows in a municipal system. Activities of [...] Read more.
Municipal authorities increasingly view environmental protection as one of the goals of city management. The pro-environmental orientation of cities can, therefore, foster the creation of new management methods and instruments and promote reorganization of determining material flows in a municipal system. Activities of this kind should result not only in the reduction of generated waste but also in the creation of closed material cycles. Considering the tasks of Polish local governments, municipalities should pay the most attention to municipal waste. Accordingly, the goal of this study was to identify the problem of mixed municipal waste in cities and assess the influence of investments into fixed assets for environmental protection in the scope of waste management on the quantity of mixed municipal waste in cities. This article also identifies activities for circular resource management that need to be realized by Polish municipalities. The analysis was performed using the panel model, dynamic indexes, and critical analysis of city documents. The conducted research revealed positive trends in cities with respect to the amount of waste collected non-selectively that is conducive to circular resource management. The fact that municipal waste quantity is on the increase should encourage urban authorities to promote pro-environmental waste management behaviors among city dwellers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsible Resource Management in Micro and Macro Scale)
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