Primary Exploration, Mining and Metal Supply Scenario (PEMMSS) model: towards a stochastic understanding of the mineral discovery, mine development and co-product recovery requirements to meet demand in a low-carbon future

S. A. Northey, S. Klose, S. Pauliuk, M. Yellishetty, D. Giurco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Existing scenario models of future material flows often exclude or place a ‘black-box’ around the mining industry and disregard important industry dynamics such as mineral exploration. This lack of sophistication prevents formation of knowledge required to answer key questions pertaining to future mining output, the amount of companion metals that can be supplied and the investments and lead times needed to fulfil future metal demand. To address this, we introduce the Primary Exploration, Mining and Metal Supply Scenario (PEMMSS) model, which allows for mine-by-mine modelling with full regionalisation and linkages to geological deposit types. PEMMSS allows for the assessment of required rates of mineral deposit discovery, mine development and co-product recovery overtime for a range of socio-economic and sustainable development linked primary material demand scenarios. The model can be calibrated using mineral resource grade, tonnage and density probability distribution functions for regions and deposit types to stochastically model scenarios for future greenfield discoveries and understand uncertainities. Applying PEMMSS will facilitate improved understanding of how future urbanisation across the globe and low-carbon transitions will translate into altered requirements for the exploration and primary mineral and metal supply sectors and their associated environmental impacts. A hypothetical case study is presented for a four co-product commodity system to highlight potential model behaviours and key drivers of model sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number200137
Number of pages17
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling Advances
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Mineral exploration
  • Mineral Resources
  • Mining
  • Ore grade
  • Primary Metal Supply
  • Scenarios
  • Sustainable development

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