The group calls for further resource governance and incentives to encourage the recycling of metals to combat global mineral depletion.
With the global population due to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, the team, spanning five continents, has made a series of recommendations to prevent global mineral resource demand from outstripping future supply.
As revealed in a peer-reviewed journal published in Nature, the slow adoption of green technologies is of particular concern to the researchers spanning five continents.
Dr. Natalia Yakovleva, Senior Lecturer in International Business Strategy at Newcastle University London, took part in the research funded by the International Union of Geological Sciences. “The continued depletion of mineral resources has implications for future shortages, market volatility and security of various industries that are dependent on the use of mineral resources,” she explains.
Calls to action
A key recommendation is to develop incentives for recycling metals and supporting mineral exploration. “Markets are not always incentivised to invest into research, due to high costs of exploration, poor market conditions and discouraging socio-political situations,” she reveals.
Secondly, the development of global governance frameworks is needed. “Coordinated efforts are required to support mineral exploration globally and invest into new mineral extraction technologies," she says.
Dr. Yakovleva adds that the promotion of knowledge exchange in the area of geological sciences is also encouraged. “Mineral supply also requires further efforts to improve governance of socio-economic and political parties affected by mineral resource exploitation,” she adds.
The harsh alternative
If the rate of recycling is not improved by the time metal production peaks, the supply of metals and minerals will continue to decline. “This will lead to supply crises threatening downstream industries such as heavy industries, infrastructure, transport, energy, agriculture and food production,” she says.
About Dr. Yakovleva
Dr. Yakovleva specialises in research on sustainable and responsible business. She has developed expertise in the field of corporate social responsibility and corporate-community relations, especially in the extractive industries. She has also conducted research on management of social and environmental implications of small- and large-scale mining in Argentina, Ghana and Russia.
Ali, S.H., Giurco, D., Arndt, N., Nickless, E., Brown, G., Demetriades, A., Durrheim, R., Enriquez, M.A., Kinnarid, J., Littleboy, A., Meinert, L.D., Oberhänsli, R., Salem, J., Schodde, R., Schneider, G., Vidal, O. ad Yakovleva, N. (2017).
published on: 21 March 2017