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Mineral Resources: Stocks, Flows, and Prospects

Faye Duchin, Heather MacLean, Christian Hageluken, Kohmei Halada, Stephen Kesler, Yuichi Moriguchi, Daniel Mueller, Terry Norgate, Markus Reuter and Ester van der Voet
Additional contact information
Heather MacLean: University of Toronto
Christian Hageluken: Umicore Precious Metals Refining
Kohmei Halada: Kohmei Halada, National Institute of Materials Science, Japan
Stephen Kesler: University of Michigan
Yuichi Moriguchi: National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan
Daniel Mueller: Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Terry Norgate: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Markus Reuter: Ausmelt, Inc.
Ester van der Voet: University of Leiden

Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics

Abstract: This chapter focuses on metals as they provide the clearest example of the challenges and opportunities that mineral resources present to society, in terms of both primary production and recycling. Basic concepts, information requirements and sources of consumer and industrial resource demand are described as well as the destabilizing effects of volatile resource prices and supply chain disruptions. Challenges facing extraction of in-ground resources and production of secondary resources are discussed and scenarios for the future considered. The results of the scenarios indicate that particularly energy and, as well, water and land requirements could become increasingly constraining factors for metal production. Key research questions are posed and modeling and data priorities discussed, with an emphasis on areas that require novel concepts and analytic tools to help lessen negative environmental impacts associated with minerals. The challenge of sustainability requires collaboration of practitioners and analysts with a multidisciplinary understanding of a broad set of issues, including economics, engineering, geology, ecology, and mathematical modeling, to name a few, as well as policy formulation and implementation.

JEL-codes: Q3 Q5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene
Date: 2010-01
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