Above-ground resource analysis with spatial resolution to support better decision making

Xuan Zhu, Xiaobo Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Understanding how much of above-ground resources are present, where the stocks are located, and how they are distributed, is important for the evaluation of the economic values of the resources, the social, and environmental impacts of mining these resources and the effectiveness of existing and future collection and recovery systems. Although the value of geographical location has recently been recognized in above-ground resource analysis, new ways to use the concept of place and location to organize and analyze information are required to enable better policy, planning, information dissemination, and communication. This paper first discusses the value of location in policy and decision making about above-ground resource use and management, reviews the top-down and bottom-up methods for above-ground resource analysis, then presents a geographical information systems (GIS) approach to above-ground resource analysis, and finally implements the approach to the construction of a spatially enabled database of above-ground copper, zinc, and steel in-use stocks at various levels of geographical regions in Australia. It demonstrates that the integration of GIS and the bottom-up method allows above-ground metal stock data to be processed, analyzed, and presented at multiple spatial scales to support policy and decision making at various spatial levels with management and planning significance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-312
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sustainable Metallurgy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Urban mining
  • Metal recycling
  • Above-ground resource analysis
  • GIS
  • In-use metal stock

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