Mineral potential mapping : a new spatial decision support tool for industry and planners

Brown, T.J.. 2012 Mineral potential mapping : a new spatial decision support tool for industry and planners. In: Hunger, Emily; Walton, Geoffrey, (eds.) Proceedings of the 16th Extractive Industry Geology Conference, held at the University of Portsmouth 8th to 11th September 2010. Extractive Industry Geology Conferences Ltd, 76-87, 194pp.

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The initial search for the optimal location for a mineral extraction site is complex, involving the consideration of geology, environment, market, transport and other factors. This research used a geographical information system (GIS) as a spatial decision support tool to combine all of these aspects and to map the potential for aggregates extraction in the East Midlands region of England. The methodology, developed as part of an MSc research project, takes the concept of ‘Mineral Potential Mapping’ to a further stage. It moves beyond simple mapping of the extent of mineral resources to examine the potential of an area to be suitable for mineral extraction. Geological units were ranked according to their relative suitability for use as aggregates. The degree of constraint imposed by various environmental designations was assessed and mapped. The potential market for aggregates was evaluated using change in population density, proximity to urban areas, housing targets and priorities for highway improvements. Distances to main roads were also examined, together with the presence of bird strike risk zones. All these aspects were weighted using expert opinions and combined to produce maps showing the distribution of extraction suitability. Such maps represent a useful decision-making tool for both Mineral Planning Authorities and quarry operators. Although the project focussed on aggregates extraction in the East Midlands region of England, the methodology developed could be used for any other region, and potentially for other minerals.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Minerals and waste
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This paper is derived from a presentation given at the Extractive Industry Geology Conference in Portsmouth in September 2010. The presentation was based on the author's MSc thesis completed through the University of Leeds and submitted in September 2009. ISBN 9780955234630
Additional Keywords: Aggregates, minerals, geographic information system, GIS, planning, quarry
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 12 Oct 2012 15:11 +0 (UTC)

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