Analysis of life cycle datasets for the material gold

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksContributions to collected editions/anthologiesResearchpeer-review


The representation of gold-producing processes in common life cycle assessment (LCA) databases is insufficient. The biggest problems identified are the missing data for recycling of high-value scraps and for ASM and the estimations in industrial mining. The life cycle inventories (LCI) for the latter are based on corporate reports. The data available from the company figures are always incomplete and must therefore be scaled between the different mines. This process was defined in this work as Intersystemic-Data-Scaling (IDS). An analogy is presumed here between mines, although literature shows that there are differences in mines like ore types that affect the extraction processes and thus the LCI. In the present study all the assumptions and IDS were visualized in a world map. It was found that except for energy demand and production volumes there is no flow without IDS. Finally, the actual shares of the different gold routes in the world market were estimated using literature research. When compared to the market shares used in common life cycle databases it can be seen that there are big data gaps emphasizing the importance of further data collection for the life cycle datasets for the material gold.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in Life Cycle Assessment 2019
EditorsStefan Albrecht, Matthias Fischer, Philip Leistner, Liselotte Schebek
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-50518-9, 978-3-030-50521-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-50519-6
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Data gaps, Gold mining, Life cycle inventories, Market datasets, Mineral extraction
  • Sustainability Science