Resource criticality and commodity production projections

Publisher:
MDPI AG
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Resources, 2012, 1 (1), pp. 22 - 33
Issue Date:
2012-01
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Resource criticality arising from peak production of primary ores is explored in this paper. We combine the Geologic Resource Supply-Demand Model of Mohr [1] to project future resource production for selected commodities in Australia, namely iron and coal which together represent around 50% of the value of total Australian exports as well as copper, gold and lithium. The projections (based on current estimates of ultimately recoverable reserves) indicate that peak production in Australia would occur for lithium in 2015; for gold in 2021; for copper in 2024; for iron in 2039 and for coal in 2060. The quantitative analysis is coupled with the criticality framework for peak minerals of Mason et al. [2] comprising (i) resource availability, (ii) societal resource addiction to commodity use, and (iii) alternatives such as dematerialization or substitution to assess the broader dimension s of peak minerals production for Australia.
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