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Research on Mineral Resources and Environment of Salt Lakes in Qinghai Province based on System Dynamics Theory

Rui Kong, Fangfang Xue, Jing Wang, Haiyan Zhai and Lina Zhao

Resources Policy, 2017, vol. 52, issue C, 19-28

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to understand the relationship between the exploitation of saline lake mineral resources and ecological system, providing decision-making references in terms of socioeconomic development and environment protection. Using system dynamics (SD), the study comes with a systematic analysis of the interdependence among saline lake mineral resources, the ecological environment and socioeconomic development as well as the trend of development in the future. Take the relationship between the saline lake mineral resources and the development of economic and the ecological system of Qinghai province for example. According to the model of study, as of 2020, proved reserves of saline lake mines in the region will only increase by 0.6 times more than that in 2013, which would impose a huge pressure on mining industries’ sustainable development. Although the number of employees in mining industries have continued going up since 2013, the level of corporate profits will go down. At the same time, market changes of salt products will have higher and higher influences on the economic impact of salt industries. In addition, the value created by each employee in the industry will grow steadily, which shows that saline lake mineral resources will continue playing an important role in local economy. At the same time, the mining exploration process will witness a rapid increase in water use, emissions of waste water, gas and solid as well as environment pressure. Therefore, the exploitation of saline lake mineral resources needs to be managed in a systematic and scientific way, based on market mechanism and guided by good governance, in order to strike a balance between the economic growth and environmental protection. A pragmatic green circular economy of Qinghai province needs to be realized in the salt lake areas through encouraging technological innovation, boosting added value of salt-related products, spreading the knowledge of waste water recycling and accelerating the use of clean energy.

Keywords: Qinghai province; System dynamics; Saline lake mineral resources; Ecological system (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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