Foreign Resource Requirements

Domestic production of primary resources differs from imported commodities (raw materials and semi-manufactures) with regard to the related hidden flows as shown in Table 23.2. In 1995, imports of fossil fuels (excluding electricity) into the EU-15 had a significantly lower hidden flow ratio than the domestic extraction of energy resources. This resulted from the fact that the imports were mainly oil and natural gas. Those materials are associated with lower hidden flows than lignite and hard coal, which contribute significantly in some of the member states. Imports of metal resources were associated with 17 times higher hidden flows than domestic extraction. Ore mining within the EU-15 plays only a minor role. It concentrates on deposits with relatively high efficiency of extraction and lower volume burden to the environment. Most of the base metals, such as iron, aluminum and copper, are imported. Precious metals with the highest ratio of unused to used extraction are mostly brought in from outside. Between 1995 and 1997, the dominant contribution to mineral requirements came from the import of diamonds. The tiny amount of 37 to 44 tons was linked to the calculated extraction of 195 to 232MMT. This repre-

Table 23.2 Ratios of hidden flows to commodities for the EU-15 in 1995

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