Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Ore Transportation Route/Mode Alternatives for Eagle Mine

MTU Project Information


NuRail Project IDNURail2016-MTU-R15
Project TitleLife Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Ore Transportation Route/Mode Alternatives for Eagle Mine
UniversityMichigan Technology University
Project ManagerPasi Lautala
Principal InvestigatorPasi Lautala
PI Contact Information
Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization)
Total Project Cost$
Agency ID or Contract NumberDTRT13-G-UTC52 (Grant 2)
Start Date2016-09-01
End Date2017-04-30
Location
Brief Description of Research ProjectOne of the approaches to compare the alternatives is through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA); a method for estimating the emissions, energy consumption and environmental impacts of a project over its life cycle. This study builds on the Life Cycle (LCA) and Life Cycle Cost (LCCA) Analysis of Freight Transportation Alternatives to Copperwood Mine Project and aims to compare three alternatives for transporting Copper and Nickel Ore from Eagle mine (a Mine in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan) to Humboldt mill; truck transportation via CR 595 or CR 550, and rail through a new alignment. The study will perform LCA for construction, operation and maintenance of all infrastructure (road/rail) and Equipment (trucks/rail cars, loaders etc.) and it will be performed for multiple mine lives and annual quantities to identify the environmental impact of these aspects for transportation alternatives. One of the major drawbacks observed during the Copperwood project was that performing a LCA for transportation alternatives requires significant resources. This study aims to overcome that (to the extent possible) by using a combination of SimaPro/OpenLCA and GREET software for the analysis and evaluate whether the GREET approach would provide appropriate values with lower resource commitment.
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