Socially responsible mining: The relationship between mining and poverty, human health and the environment

Raina M. Maier, Fernando Díaz-Barriga, James A. Field, James Hopkins, Bern Klein, Mary M. Poulton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Increasing global demand for metals is putting strain on the ability of the mining industry to physically keep up with demand (physical scarcity). Conversely, social issues including the environmental and human health consequences of mining as well as the disparity in income distribution from mining revenues are disproportionately felt at the local community level. This has created social rifts, particularly in the developing world, between affected communities and both industry and governments. Such rifts can result in a disruption of the steady supply of metals (situational scarcity). Here we discuss the importance of mining in relationship to poverty, identify steps that have been taken to create a framework for socially responsible mining, and then discuss the need for academia to work in partnership with communities, government, and industry to develop transdisciplinary research-based step change solutions to the intertwined problems of physical and situational scarcity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
JournalReviews on Environmental Health
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Mining
  • Physical scarcity
  • Poverty
  • Situational scarcity
  • Socially responsible mining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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