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Data form the foundation of any quantitative analysis. They are useful to analysts when sufficient metadata information is provided in support of the data or are structured and relationships are clearly shown between them, for example when put in a system context, or if the data are provided using a harmonised and unified system of reporting . Large data providers such as statistical offices, geological surveys and other international data providers do not describe the system context of the data in sufficient detail, or they employ various different reporting systems with varying terminology, which cause confusion and wrong use of data.   

The five data challenges:

1. Uncertainties associated with data are not explicit.

2. Data of different data providers are often not harmonized and interoperable.

3. Metadata information to provide sufficient insight of the meaning of data and their boundaries is lacking.

4. Missing data, or limited data availability due to confidentiality or other legal constraints.

5. Data gaps are not explicitly presented.

The MinFuture hypotheses:

1. Statistical data on stocks and flows of goods or materials can always be placed within a system that accurately defines the reference point of where the measurement was taken.

2. Providing the system context (the “coordinates”) adds value to the data and allows for addressing of all of the above mentioned challenges. 

Testing of the outlined hypotheses on selected companies, national authorities and at the European and global level. This is achieved through close collaboration between MFA specialists and representatives of the above mentioned institutions. Validation will illustrate how the five data challenges can be addressed effectively using the MinFuture hypotheses.

Recommendations will be developed and they will be available through the MinFuture Roadmap, planned to be published in December 2018.

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

The size and the complexity of the global material flows have increased drastically over the past decades as a consequence of population growth, urbanization, globalization, technological development (e.g., employment of more complex material combinations in manufacturing), and sophistication in

The figure shows a snap shot of the report's cover page.
MinFuture Deliverable D4.2

The conceptual framework of MinFuture is structured as a pyramid with seven components related to Material Flow Analysis (i.e., systems, data, uncertainty, models, indicators, visualisation, and strategy & decision support).

“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 figure shows a sankey diagram of global steel flows from steelmaking to end-use goods. The width of the different arrows represent quantities flowing from one life cycle stage to the next; the thicker the arrow, the larger the quantities.
MinFuture deliverable D3.2

MinFuture is a collaborative project funded by the Horizon 2020 framework, aiming to identify, integrate, and develop expertise for global material flow analysis and scenario modelling.

Twenty tons of gold is lost from Europe's vehicle fleet each year.

Vast quantities of scarce metals are being lost each year from Europe's urban mine of vehicles, batteries, mobile phones and electronic gadgets. To address this problem, the European research project ProSUM has compiled a new database that charts the metals in order to facilitate recycling.


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?


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