Feasibility of re-processing mine tailings to obtain critical raw materials using real options analysis
Araya, Natalia; Ramírez, Yendery; Kraslawski, Andrzej; Cisternas, Luis A. (2021-02-04)
Post-print / Final draft
Journal of Environmental Management
School of Engineering Science
This study introduces a framework to evaluate the economic risk related to the re-processing of mine tailings to obtain CRMs. The framework, based on real options analysis (ROA), and sensitivity and uncertainty analysis, was applied to analyze the profitability of using mine tailings as a source of CRMs in the Chilean mining industry. The novelty of this approach consists in enabling the investment decision making including the uncertainties related to a novel investment mining project.
show that tailing storage facilities in Chile have some stocks of CRMs, like scandium, whose extraction could be profitable. For the data used, the results of uncertainty and sensitivity analyses show that capital expenditure has a more significant influence than the other variables. Therefore, for the case of mine tailings re-processing, it is essential to develop processes and technologies that enable lower capital expenses.
Araya, N., Ramírez, Y., Kraslawski, A., Cisternas, L.A. (2021). Feasibility of re-processing mine tailings to obtain critical raw materials using real options analysis. Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 284. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.112060
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