Toward a Circular Economy in the Copper Mining Industry

Ingrid JamettErnesto D. R. Santibanez GonzalezYecid JiménezPaulina Carrasco

Keywords: Circular Economy Industry 4.0 Mining Industry Supply Chain Water and Energy


In this chapter we analyze the application of Industry 4.0 concepts to advance the adoption of the circular economy in the mining industry. The mining industry makes intensive use of some essential and currently scarce resources such as water and non-renewable fossil fuels, and at the same time is one of the main generators of CO2e. The adoption of a circular economy framework makes it possible to assess the impact that changes in the production processes from copper mining towards more sustainable mining may have on the management of scarce resources such as water and on cost management. Desalination projects in the mining industry are described in the context of a circular economy practice to reduce the consumption of continental water. We briefly explore different mining projects that integrate industry 4.0 technology and its potential integration in the implementation of circular economy practices. The results of this study will inform managers, professionals, and decision makers about the importance of using Industry 4.0 in a circular economy framework to increasing sustainability in the mining extractive sector.

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Fecha de publicación: 2021