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Sustainability Comparison of Mining Industries by Life Cycle Assessment for Turkey and European Union

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is defined as the environmental evaluation of a system or product from the manufacturing stage until its end, usually as waste. Environmental impacts gained major importance in all industries together with sustainability. Sustainability is a term that governmental offices and corporate companies started to underline in energy policies and publicity. LCA is a common and quantitative methodology to measure how sustainable a given system is. Mining industry is a potential field where sustainability and LCA can be implemented due to intense energy requirement and equipment utilization. The main objective of the study is to introduce LCA and its implementation in mining industry with a case study modeled in SimaPro software. Electricity data representing Turkey with the Union for the Co-ordination of Production and Transmission of Electricity (UCTE) and an EU member country is compared. As a result, processes that are environmentally critical by means of impacts on both human health and ecosystem could be identified by LCA. A measure of how sustainable an industry is can be supported by LCA as a decision support system.