Peak minerals: mapping sustainability issues at local and national scales

The New Zealand Society for Sustainability Engineering and Science
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Sustainability Engineering and Science, 2010, pp. 1 - 10
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Peak minerals adopts the Hubbert metaphor for peak oil to highlight issues associated with initial mining of `cheaper, more accessible and higher quality ores pre-peak, to `lower grade, more remote, complex and expensive ores post-peak. In doing so, it prompts focus on the `services provided by the resource in-use as well as the transition strategy to supply those services following the decline of production post-peak. This paper applies the peak minerals metaphor as a basis for examining the social and environmental implications pre- and post-peak production across spatial scales. Using document review and stakeholder analysis from a National Peak Minerals Forum held in Australia, social and environmental impacts are mapped at local and national scales. This innovative mapping found that currently, consideration is given to local social and environmental issues and global economic issues, however, triple bottom line issues at the national scale are currently overlooked. As minerals resources belong to the people of a nation, this finding will inform future approaches to transition strategies seeking to maximise long term value for the use of the resources.
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