Exergy cost of mineral resources

Rui N. Rosa, Diogo R.N. Rosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Mineral deposits are considered as natural capital whose value can be assessed in exergy terms. Historical industry experience provides evidence that exploitation of mineral deposits and the beneficiation of ores are essentially energy intensive. The persisting decline of the grade of the developed deposits demands increasing exergy replacement and processing costs. The results demonstrate how far processed ores and concentrates are from ideal behaviour, and technologies from reversibility conditions. The exploitation of mineral resources of declining quality for mineral commodities imply a long time trend of increasing mass and exergy inputs spent per unit product output, in line with a law of 'diminishing returns' on invested exergy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-555
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Exergy
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Concentration
  • Entropy
  • Exergy
  • Mineral resources
  • Ore grade
  • Recovery ratio

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 4: Mineral Resources


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