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Mineral Resource Depletion Potential

A proposed new ASTM International standard describes a method for calculating the length of time that a nonfuel mineral commodity can be extracted from its reserves and resources, for purposes of environmental product declarations and life cycle analyses. WK31671, Practice for Calculation of the Resource Depletion Potential of Mineral Commodities, is being developed by Subcommittee E60.80 on General Sustainability Standards, part of ASTM International Committee E60 on Sustainability.

“WK31671 will be used for a technically accurate assessment of the length of time that extraction will occur from a mineral commodity resource before depletion when recycling and substitutes are taken into account,” says Harold Taylor, president, Basic Mines, and chairman of the E60.80 task group that is developing the proposed standard.

Anyone preparing an EPD or LCA will be able to use the proposed standard, once approved, to examine the following factors, applicable to a mineral commodity, that can affect the life of its worldwide resource:

  • Total amount of reserves and resources;
  • Amount extracted annually;
  • Amount annually recycled; and
  • Amount annually displaced by substitutes.

Taylor notes that interested participants, particularly those who deal with iron and steel, aluminum, copper, zinc, fertilizers, ceramics and other mineral commodities, are encouraged to join the task group currently developing WK31671.

CONTACT Technical Information: Harold Taylor, Basic Mines • Summit Point, WV • Phone: 304-725-6619 | ASTM Staff: Stephen Mawn • Phone: 610-832-9726 | Upcoming Meeting: Oct. 23-25 • October Committee Week • Atlanta, Ga.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.