State of the world's nonfuel mineral resources: Supply, demand, and socio-institutional fundamentals

Mary M. Poulton, Sverker C. Jagers, Stefan Linde, Dirk Van Zyl, Luke J. Danielson, Simon Matti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Current material supply-demand imbalances are driven by situational rather than physical scarcities, resulting in a growing interest among government, civil society, and industry groups to consider not only the availability of mineral resources, but also the sustainability implications of their production. This, in turn, places increasing pressure on mining companies to broaden their concerns when planning new mining projects, covering its "social license to operate" by incorporating strategies for limiting negative socioenvironmental impacts alongside calculations of the project's economic viability as well as balancing a large number of potential stakeholders. Accordingly, understanding also the sociopolitical context of mineral development is crucial for the creation of sustainable practices within the mining industry. By applying a sustainable development framework, this article outlines the complex web of challenges associated with sustainable mineral extraction, ranging from technological and economic development to political and institutional concerns on how to govern and manage scarce resources in a globalized world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-371
Number of pages27
JournalAnnual Review of Environment and Resources
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • governance
  • mining
  • nonrenewable resources
  • sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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