Mineral Resource Governance in the 21st Century

Gearing Extractive Industries Towards Sustainable Development

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The mining sector, if carefully managed, presents enormous opportunities for advancing sustainable development particularly in low-income countries, the International Resource Panel says in its latest report




Extraction of mineral resources has risen markedly in recent decades and will continue to grow to serve the needs of a growing, more affluent and increasingly urban population. Greater resource efficiency and circularity need to be prioritized around the globe to reduce demand for virgin materials, as current trends of resource extraction and processing cause environmental impacts that would exceed the planetary boundaries (GRO 2019). Especially high-income countries must strive for absolute decoupling of virgin resource use from economic growth. Developing countries need to relatively decouple growth from resource use, but will continue to grow demand for virgin resources to develop their basic infrastructure. Therefore, despite decoupling, resource extraction will continue to grow until necessary infrastructures are in place and resource circularity is effective globally. The global transition towards clean energy production will accentuate this pattern as renewable energy sources require much greater amounts of metals, both of the common and rare types, than energy production from fossil fuels.


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