Special Issue "Raw Materials and Circular Economy: Concepts and Evidence"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 January 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. George Banias
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Guest Editor
Institute for Bio-Economy and Agri-Technology, Centre for Research and Technology, Hellas, Thermi, 57001 Thessalloniki, Greece
Interests: environmental impact assessment; life cycle analysis; waste management and circular economy; sustainability; environmental informatics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Konstantinos N. Kontogiannopoulos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, School of Chemical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: nanotechnology; natural products; drug delivery systems; pharmaceutical technology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Evangelos Tzamos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: mineralogy and geochemistry of ore deposits; field geology; mineral resources; critical raw materials; mining wastes; byproducts; materials characterization; circular economy
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The establishment of a sustainable supply chain for raw materials is among the most emerging priorities in modern societies. The majority of critical and valuable raw materials with direct impact in renewable energy generation, high-technology applications, and industrial processes are those produced by mining activities. As a traditional economy sector, metal and mineral exploration and processing meets many challenges in adopting a new approach toward environmental neutrality, the optimization of energy, the efficient use of resources, and circular economy practices and approaches. In particular, the fields of interest involve the design of novel mining and metallurgical processes, new methods for mineral exploration, incorporation of digital technologies, exploitation of secondary products or wastes through innovative products, end-of-life recycling, and long-term environmental safety.

In this context, the aim of this Special Issue is to collect new ideas on the possible engagement of mining and metallurgical processes with sustainability development goals through evidence derived by high-impact research studies and assessment approaches. Moreover, in this Special Issue, we aspire to present a selection of original and innovative papers highlighting the most challenging aspects relating to the comprehensive integration of life cycle thinking in mining and metallurgical processes. Concepts, challenges, perspectives, and opportunities will shed light on the dynamic and forward-looking nature of environmental impact assessment tools especially in light of the sustainable development goals and the priorities of raw materials in the circular economy. Successful paradigms of environmental impact assessment methodology and LCA application on specific case studies in the mining and metallurgical industry are also welcomed.

The Special Issue will also welcome selected papers on related topics from “The International Conference on Raw Materials and Circular Economy” (RawMat2021, www.rawmat2021.gr).

Dr. George Banias
Dr. Konstantinos Kontogiannopoulos
Dr. Evangelos Tzamos
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • mining
  • metallurgy
  • circular economy
  • life cycle analysis and thinking
  • environmental impact assessment
  • sustainability

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Assessing of Losses and Dilution Impact on the Cost Chain: Case Study of Gold Ore Deposits
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3830; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13073830 - 31 Mar 2021
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The conditions of declining gold grade in the ore, increasing depth of excavation, and de-creasing unallocated stock of deposits make it necessary to develop efficient solutions for the mine-to-mill process, which have to be adapted to each specific mining plant and will optimizes [...] Read more.
The conditions of declining gold grade in the ore, increasing depth of excavation, and de-creasing unallocated stock of deposits make it necessary to develop efficient solutions for the mine-to-mill process, which have to be adapted to each specific mining plant and will optimizes production costs. Current research focuses on a case study that demonstrates how indicators of mining losses and dilution influence the variation of costs chain in the production cycle. The article examines the topical issue of determining the effects at the mine-to-mill stages due to changes in losses and dilution. The author’s approach to the formation of a mine-to-mill cost chain is proposed by integrating several cost estimation methods into the general cost estimation methodology. The estimation methodology is a compilation of factor analysis and cost engineering methods that take into account the change in costs due to the variation of losses and dilution. It was proven that with variations in losses and dilution, cost savings arise due to changes in the volume of work on ore averaging, ore transportation, and beneficiation. For the case of the Kuranakh ore field, there are no effects at the mining stage. The use of internal reserves by means of managing ore quality parameters allows reducing the costs per ton of processed rock mass along the entire production chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Raw Materials and Circular Economy: Concepts and Evidence)
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