Estimation of potential quantity and value of used and in-use stocks of urban mines in Korea

  • Hyun-Jung Jo
  • Hong-Yoon Kang
  • Il-Seuk Lee
  • Yong-Sung Jun


The urban mine industry plays an essential role in environmental sustainability to minimize the creation of landfills and to maximize the reuse of resources. The first step in improving the efficiency of the industry is to identify the status of existing urban mines. This study identifies the scale of urban mine resources in Korea by examining both the current quantity of discarded resources and the accumulation quantity which is to be discarded in the future. The discarded and accumulation quantity are calculated by first applying the normal distribution to the product life distribution and then applying statistical data to the consumption and discard of products. Based on these calculations, as of 2011, there are 11 million tons of discarded urban mine resources and 478 million tons of accumulated urban mine resources. The discard value based on metal prices is found to be 12,779 million dollars and the accumulation value is found to be 454,220 million dollars. The discard value of 12,770 million dollars accounts for 14% of the demand for metal resources in the Korea. Including process by-products, which are excluded from this study, at least 20% of the demand for metal resources can be secured via urban mine resources.


Urban mine Metal resources In-use stock Used stock 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyun-Jung Jo
    • 1
  • Hong-Yoon Kang
    • 1
  • Il-Seuk Lee
    • 1
  • Yong-Sung Jun
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Resources Information and ManagementKorea Institute of Industrial TechnologySeoulKorea

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