The Mineral Resources Landscape – An Expanded Conceptualisation of Minerals Sustainability

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As part of global systems of mineral production and consumption, the Australian minerals sector is facing sustainability challenges across technological, social, ecological, economic and governance domains, as well as between local, national and global scales. To ensure that the Australian minerals sector progresses towards sustainability, it is imperative to understand the possible ways in which Australia’s mineral resources could support sustainable futures. A significant research gap exists between the complex nature of questions concerning minerals sustainability and the reductionist methods available to deal with them. This paper argues the need for broader, more integrated approaches to questions concerning minerals sustainability, which can address multiple human perspectives, complex and ‘messy’ patterns and processes across multiple organisational, temporal and geographical scales and whole systems of mineral production and consumption.
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