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Sustainable Minerals Operations in the Developing World: introduction

By
B. R. Marker
B. R. Marker
1
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London, SW1E 5DU, UK
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M. G. Petterson
M. G. Petterson
2
British Geological Survey, Nicker Hill, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG2 SGG, UK
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F. McEvoy
F. McEvoy
2
British Geological Survey, Nicker Hill, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG2 SGG, UK
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M. H. Stephenson
M. H. Stephenson
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Published:
January 01, 2005

Abstract

Sustainable development requires an appropriate balance between social, economic and environmental well-being, now and for the future. Since most minerals are non-renewable resources, sustainability of supply can only be addressed by extracting, processing and distributing raw materials in the least environmentally damaging ways, using minerals wisely, and recycling as much as possible. However, there also is significant scope for improved sustainability in terms of economic and social aspects.

Minerals are essential raw materials but high-quality deposits have become depleted in many developed countries. These countries have increasingly turned to developing countries for supplies and it is in these that most high-quality untapped future prospects remain. For countries with limited export opportunities, minerals are often a mainstay of the domestic economy. However, low selling prices may reflect limited environmental regulation and low wages. This can lead to charges that the rich countries are exporting their environmental damage to, and exploiting, poorer countries. As more countries develop, the global demand for supplies of essential raw materials increases, and resources will be depleted more quickly. Therefore, sustainable minerals supply from the developing countries is an important global issue.

In this Special Report, general aspects of sustainable minerals operations in the developing world are reviewed by Petterson et al., Hobbs, and Richards while the remaining papers consider specific issues in more detail. Hobbs, in particular, emphasizes the need to give proper weight each to human capital, financial capital, manufactured capital, and environmental capital in any full analysis as a context for sustainable development and effective aid.

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Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Sustainable Minerals Operations in the Developing World

B. R. Marker
B. R. Marker
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, UK
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M. G. Petterson
M. G. Petterson
British Geological Survey, UK
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F. McEvoy
F. McEvoy
British Geological Survey, UK
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M. H. Stephenson
M. H. Stephenson
British Geological Survey, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
250
ISBN electronic:
9781862394988
Publication date:
January 01, 2005

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