Quotation Moura, Agnaldo, Lutter, Franz Stephan, Siefert, Cesar, Dombrowski Netto, Nicolas, Sena Nascimento, José Antônio, Castro, Fernando. 2021. Estimating water input in the mining industry in Brazil: A methodological proposal in a data-scarce context. The Extractive Industries and Society.


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Abstract

Metal mining plays a significant role in the Brazilian economy since its foundation as an overseas colony. The rapid increase in ore extraction brings along pressures on the country’s water resources, as mining is a particularly water-intensive activity. However, site-specific data on water input and management are scarce. We propose a methodology for estimating water input in mining at a high geographical resolution. We focus on the three key metals mined in Brazil: iron, aluminum (i.e. bauxite ore), and copper, and derive water input coefficients for all mines from governmental and corporate sources as well as from the literature. We estimate that overall, the sum of the water inputs estimated for Brazilian bauxite, copper, and iron ore mining decreased by 15% from an average of 506.5±62.4 hm3 in 2014 to an average of 408.4±67.2 hm3 in 2017. The regions where most water was appropriated were Northern (Pará state) and Southeast (Minas Gerais) for iron, Northern (Pará) for aluminum, and Northern (Pará) and Central West (Goiás) for copper. We show that there are still significant consistency and data availability gaps, and that further work is still necessary to improve site-specific reporting and open access to data collected by public institutions.

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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal The Extractive Industries and Society
Citation Index SSCI
Language English
Title Estimating water input in the mining industry in Brazil: A methodological proposal in a data-scarce context
Year 2021
Reviewed? Y
URL https://api.elsevier.com/content/article/PII:S2214790X21001866?httpAccept=text/xml
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2021.101015
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://reader.elsevier.com/reader/sd/pii/S2214790X21001866?token=63ABD472CC31A35BE1A4093A6F8DA60F03B5C950166251928AB5B690531A1F7D53495898308F9016D76B

Associations

People
Lutter, Franz Stephan (Details)
External
Castro, Fernando (Mineral Technology Center, Av. Pedro Calmon 900, 21941-908 Cidade Universit ́aria, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Dombrowski Netto, Nicolas (Department of Geography, Federal University of Parana (UFPR), Curitiba 81531-980,, Brazil)
Moura, Agnaldo (Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna,, Austria)
Sena Nascimento, José Antônio (Mineral Technology Center, Av. Pedro Calmon 900, 21941-908 Cidade Universit ́aria, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Siefert, Cesar (Department of Geography, Federal University of Parana (UFPR), Curitiba 81531-980, Brazil)
Organization
Institute for Ecological Economics IN (Details)
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