Back to top


In the MinFuture project we aim to integrate four core dimensions, (1) Stages (2) Trade (3) Linkages (4) Time.

(1) Stages: Stages represent the various transformation steps that materials go through during their lifetime, including mining, material production, manufacturing of products, their use, and end-of-life management. These principle stages can be analyzed either at an aggregate level or the stages can be refined using a variety of sub-processes. A material cycle is constructed by combining the different stages together and illustrating the flows and stocks of material.


(2) Trade: Trade represents the exchange of all goods along the supply chain (between all stages) among countries or regions. Material cycles can be constructed by either showing the trade between a country and the rest of the world, or with individual other countries.


(3) Layers (or linkages) explore the interactions and changing characteristics of materials across their lifecycle. Material flow layers may explore for instance interlinkages between goods, components, materials, chemical elements, as well as energy or value.


(4) Time refers to the possibility to track material flows over time, for example the measurement of historical stocks and flows or the exploration of future stocks and flows of materials by use of scenarios.

The figure shows a snap shot of the report's cover page.
MinFuture Framework

This report aims to address existing challenges by developing a methodological framework for the monitoring of the physical economy that facilitates the users in reflecting more systematically about the problems mentioned above and in developing more effective strategies for addressing them. The framework proposed is based on Material Flow Analysis (MFA), a tool widely used for tracking materials and energy in the economy.

“The Future Perspective of Minerals Production in the Circular Economy”

On 11-12 December 2018, the MIN-GUIDE project team invites you to reflect upon the mining sector’s role for a circular economy at its 3rd Annual Conference. The conference will host about 200 participants from all over Europe and will provide an excellent opportunity to learn, explore, exchange, and network.

The figure shows a snapshot of the cover page of the synthesis brief
MinFuture Workshop synthesis brief No. 3

In order to develop strategies as well as to define and reach goals concerning raw materials management, maps are needed to help navigate existing knowledge and data.

Impression from the third MinFuture workshop in Brussels, showing the participants listening to an input presentation

The purpose of this workshop was to further develop the roadmap for monitoring the physical economy. During the spring of 2018, the MinFuture project has held several commodity specific workshops to test the developed framework and to identify commodity specific trends, opportunities and challenges that can inform the MinFuture roadmap.  Workshops has been held on aluminium, cobalt, neodymium, platinum, phosphorus and construction aggregates, and stakeholders from different parts of the supply chain has contributed to it.


This workshop is part of an EU Horizon 2020 project MinFuture (Global material flows and demand-supply forecasting for mineral strategies...


This workshop is part of an EU Horizon 2020 project MinFuture (Global material flows and demand-supply forecasting for mineral strategies; see details in the flyer attached or the project website:


The MinFuture workshop synthesis brief describes the main insights from discussions on:

  • How can we add more relevance and credibility to data published on raw materials? What context is missing that might enhance their status? How could we present data using a systemic MFA? perspective
  • How do raw material data reporting schemes (information flows) currently operate at national, regional and global level?
  • What raw material indicators are often used to identify issues with raw material supply/ demand? What are their strengths and weaknesses and how do they relate to material flow analysis?

Aimed at developing a common framework to analyse global mineral raw material flows, which can be agreed and used at international level, the MinFuture project intends to support data collectors, providers and users. Improving knowledge and quality of data on material cycles was found to be essential, but is faced with challenges such as interrupted information flows or lacking data availability. The first MinFuture Workshop (‘Methodology workshop’) served to discuss how MinFuture could support key data providers and users.

Group photo of the participants of the 2nd MinFuture workshop

The purpose of this workshop was to initiate a dialogue with key stakeholders that report raw materials data, use data to develop MFA models, or use MFA models to inform decision making. The knowledge and needs of data providers, users and decision actors are different, but in order for a ‘common approach’ to be developed their input is required.

MinFuture Deliverable D3.1

The brief presents key discussion items and main findings from the June 2017 Workshop in Vienna. In order to tackle challenges such as insufficient information flows or lacking data availability, a (more) systemic understanding of global mineral raw material flows is needed. Mapping the system context and making data/information gaps explicit will help identifying possible improvements.

Subscribe to Dimensions