Development of a Smart Computational Tool for the Evaluation of Co- and By-Products in Mining Projects using Chovdar Gold Ore Deposit in Azerbaijan as a Case Study
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Despite their significance in numerous applications, many critical minerals and metals are still considered minor. Since most of them are not found alone in mineral deposits, their co- or by-production depends on the production of base metals and other major commodities. In many cases, the concentration of the minor metals is low enough not to be considered part of the production. Hence, their supply is not always secured, their availability decreases, and their criticality increases. Many researchers have addressed this issue, but no one has set actual impact factors other than economic ones that should determine the production of these minor commodities. This study identified several parameters, the number and diversity of which gave birth to developing a computational tool using a multi-criteria-decision analysis model based on the Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) and Python. This unprecedented methodology was applied to evaluate the production status of different commodities in a polymetallic deposit located in Chovdar, Azerbaijan. The evaluation outcomes indicated in quantifiable terms the production potentials for several commodities in the deposit and justified the great perspectives of this tool to evaluate all kinds of polymetallic deposits concerning the co- and by-production of several minor critical raw materials.
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