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.
In the MinFuture project we aim to integrate four core dimensions, (1) Stages (2) Trade (3) Linkages (4) Time.
(1) Stages: Materials go through several stages through their lifetime. From extraction to manufacturing use, end-of life and potentially recycling. This dimension applies to all non-energy raw materials and by integrating all of these steps of processing we can establish comprehensive material cycles.
(2) Trade: The EU, along with other developed countries, depends on the supply of raw materials from international markets. Understanding and visualising the global nature of raw materials value chains to ensure a sustainable supply of primary and secondary raw materials for the EU, requires a good understanding of how the EU material cycles are linked to other regions/countries by international trade. The international trade market provides the boundary conditions for global resource flows, and includes country-to-country trade relationships of minerals and goods.
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: http://minfuture.eu/).
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.
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.
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.