Dr Gavin Mudd and I will be co-chairing a technical session on the Circular Economy and Mining at the 2018 SME Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN. Please let us know if you're interested in participating or attending.
Consumer demands and innovation are driving the world towards a circular economy, where growth can decouple from resource and environmental constraints. The mining industry business model is mainly based on high volume ore treatment and waste production. How might the industry adapt and thrive in a shift to the circular economy?
The abstract for my presentation is:
The circular economy for metals currently centers around recycling/reprocessing smelter, refinery and semi fabricated wastes, and consumer scrap materials recovered from end of life sorting. Some mining companies are connected to the circular economy through integrated mine to refine value chains, while others are disconnected as they only produce mineral concentrates. How does industry structure influence how mining companies engage in or are affected by the circular economy? Will circular economy related government regulations and corporate sustainability targets change the economics, environmental and stewardship aspects of mined metal supply? The topic will be analyzed using the copper and lead/zinc industries as examples.
You can see a copy of my presentation here.