This impact category is related to the consumption of all virgin mineral material, e.g. the extraction of aggregates, metal ores and minerals. The consumption of such substances can mean that they are unavailable for use by future generations. This indicator is intended to relate purely to resource use, with no coverage of other environmental impacts which might be associated with mining or quarrying, or the relative scarcity of resources.The indicator is based on the Total Material Requirement (TMR) indicators used by the European Union and developed by the Wuppertal Institute, based on earlier work for the World Resources Institute. However the indicators covering fossil fuel, biomass (mainly agricultural product) and soil erosion (only covered for agriculture, not forestry) are not included. Further details can be obtained in the Eurostat working papers.
The indicator calculates the total resource use associated with any use of any non-energy, abiotic materials within the EU, wherever the resource use occurs. For example, for steel use, it traces back to tonnes of iron ore extraction wherever this occurs. The TMR indicator includes material that is extracted as a result of economic activities, but not used as input for production or consumption activities, for example mining overburden. Excavated and dredged material is also included. For normalisation purposes the Eurostat data provides relevant figures covering imports of materials as well as resource use within Europe.
The category is measured in tonnes of mineral extracted.
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