|Tipo di tesi||Tesi di dottorato di ricerca|
|Titolo||L’approccio Life Cycle Thinking applicato al settore minerario artigianale di piccola scala: il caso studio di una miniera colombiana|
|Titolo in inglese||The Life Cycle Thinking approach applied to Artisanal Small-scale Mining (ASM): Lessons from a Colombian ASM case study|
|Settore scientifico disciplinare||ING-IND/09 - SISTEMI PER L'ENERGIA E L'AMBIENTE|
|Corso di studi||INGEGNERIA DELL'INNOVAZIONE INDUSTRIALE|
|Data inizio appello||2018-09-21|
|Disponibilità||Accessibile via web (tutti i file della tesi sono accessibili)|
L’importanza di fornire soluzioni sostenibili in Paesi a basso e medio reddito rappresenta la chiave di svolta per il raggiungimento degli obiettivi chiave come i Sustainable Development Goals.
The importance of providing sustainable solutions in low and middle-income countries is the key to diffuse environmental policies around the world and to achieve key objectives such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In recent years the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has increased its influence on modern business world covering the overall productive sectors. The institutions see the CSR as a tool for promoting transparency in the supply chains of products, especially materials defined as critical for their scarcity (i.e. rare earth) and/or for their added value (i.e. precious metals and minerals). Since the areas of interest for CSR concept are the environmental and social issues, the assessment on how the considered organization affects these two macro issues becomes crucial. Among the different methodologies used for analysing both the environmental and social aspects, the Life Cycle Thinking approach has features which render it suitable for assessing the potential environmental impacts related to an activity this with environmental LCA (E-LCA), while the Social Life Cycle Assessment is used to highlight the social implications associated with a product or an organization. The main goal of this research is to apply the Life Cycle Thinking approach on artisanal small-scale mining, implementing both the E-LCA and S-LCA frameworks for the concerns of this specific mining sector. The context of the study is an innovative project of international cooperation based on an ASGM, artisanal small-scale gold mine, located in Colombia in a conflict-affected and high-risk area. It is an informal mine, like many in this area and it is characterized by a sufficiently structured organization to be considered as an example of ASM enterprise. A literature review was performed on the ASM sector for defining the state of art of the Life Cycle Thinking applied to this sector. Thereby, the research strategy and methodology approaches were elaborated for analyzing both the environmental and social performance of the studied ASM. In particular, the ASM evaluation was realized taking into consideration the new framework of assessment identified applying both top-down and bottom-up approach. The ASM’s primary data were collected both directly and indirectly through the fieldwork in Autumn 2016 (environmental monitoring, semi-structured interviews, etc.). The environmental analysis (E-LCA) has shown a high impact in the gold extraction stage due to the use of mercury: this damage was reduced by introducing in the plant a phytodepuration pilot system for the wastewater treatment. Regarding the social assessment, it was possible to observe a positive performance of the studied ASM related to some indicators associated with the area of protection “Work conditions”, being a low negative risk associated with them. The major hotspots identified along the system boundaries are related to Governance and Community infrastructure endpoint categories. These two impact categories have also shown a high correlation with the national and sector level for Colombia. Although the Life Cycle Thinking approach has inherited some challenges derived from its holistic feature, it was applied to the ASM context with good results. As an example, the social assessment of the studied ASM shows a correspondence with the national trends and some positive results associated with the conditions of the workers. Both E-LCA and S-LCA has shown hopeful results for supporting further processes for the formalization and responsibility of the ASM sector applying the CSR perspective. Although the author is aware of the present limits in the LCA framework, however, LCA is recommended for the coming studies focused on both the environmental and social performance evaluation, especially in ASM context.