Planning4Minerals header
 
 Home
 Planning
  Influence of EU
 Role of central government
 Role of regional bodies
 Enviro protection/heritage
 Role of elected members
 Local communities
 Planning process
  Sustainability
 Future aggregate sites
 Commercial interests
 Planning permission
 Restoration
 Enforcing planning rights
 Environment
  Landscape
 Natural and built heritage
 Noise and vibration
 Transport and traffic
 Air quality
 Water resources
 Mineral waste
 Biodiversity
 Geodiversity
 Resources
  What are aggregates?
 Resources vs Reserves
 Location of aggregates
 Quarry design/restoration
 Aggregate process
 Aggregate testing
 Economics
  Aggregates use
 Supply and demand
 Value to economy
 Regional supply issues
 Local economy
 Transportation issues
 Links
 Glossary
 Site map
 Notes for trainers
 Downloads
   
  
Resources

What is the difference between resources and reserves?

Resources
There are a number of factors that determine where primary (or natural) aggregates can be worked. In Britain these are fundamentally determined by two critical factors;
  • the availability of aggregate resources, and
  • access to the resource.
Resource availability
     
Mineral resources are defined as natural concentrations of minerals or, bodies of rock that are, or may become, of potential economic interest due to their inherent properties.
 
There frequently is confusion in the understanding of the terms resources and reserves, and they are sometimes used interchangeably. It is important to clearly define these terms and ensure their correct usage.


  Trent valley sand and gravel resources and reserves NE of Nottingham.

Trent valley sand and gravel resources and reserves north-east of Nottingham (click image to enlarge view).

Mineral resources are defined as natural concentrations of minerals or, in the case of aggregates, bodies of rock that are, or may become, of potential economic interest due to their inherent properties (for example the high crushing strength of a rock or its suitability for use as an aggregate). The mineral will also be present in sufficient quantity to make it of intrinsic economic interest. Aggregate resources have, therefore, not only physical but also economic aspects. The status of aggregate resources in economic terms may change with time as product specifications change, as markets decline or expand, as transport links improve, and as extraction and processing technology improve. Resources that might previously have remained unworked, because of their poor quality or they were beneath excessive overburden thickness, are increasingly being considered as potential sources of supply.

Access to the resource
The presence of an otherwise economically viable aggregate resource is not in itself sufficient to ensure that mineral extraction will take place. This is because, in common with most other forms of developments in the UK, minerals extraction and related activities such as processing facilities, require planning permission before any development can take place. Without a planning consent no mineral working can legally take place and consequently the inherent economic value of a mineral resource cannot be released and resulting wealth created. The continuity of the supply of aggregates crucially depends, therefore, on adequate planning permissions being granted.

. . . more