Mineral supply for sustainable development requires resource governance

Ali SH, Giurco D, Arndt N, Edmind N, Brown G, Demetriades A, Durrheim E, Eriquez MA, Kinnard J, Littleboy A, Meinert LD, Oberhänsli R, Salem J, Schodde R, Schneider G, Vidal O, Yakovleva N. (2017) Mineral supply for sustainable development requires resource governance. Nature, 543(7645), 367-372.

Delivering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the commitments of the Paris Agreement will require the rapid adoption of technologies dependent on vast quantities of a range of minerals.

Metal recycling and technological change will contribute to sustaining supply, but mining must continue for the foreseeable future to ensure that these resources remain available. New links are needed between existing institutional frameworks to oversee the responsible sourcing of minerals and ensure consumer awareness of the effects of consumption.

In this paper, the authors present an interdisciplinary perspective on how to ensure the continuity of a global mineral supply over the coming decades. They give 6 recommendations:

  1. Reach consensus on international targets for global mineral production;
  2. Monitor impacts of mineral production and consumption;
  3. Improve coordination of mineral exploration;
  4. Support investment and research into new mineral extraction technologies;
  5. Harmonize global best practice for responsible mineral resource development; and
  6. Develop maps and inventories showing the availability of recyclable metals.


The full paper can be found here.