Global Area Disturbed and Pressures on Biodiversity by Large-Scale Metal Mining

Murguía, Diego I.

kassel university press, ISBN: 978-3-7376-0040-8, 2015, 375 Pages

URN: urn:nbn:de:0002-400418

DOI: 10.19211/KUP9783737600415

Zugl.: Kassel, Univ., Diss. 2015

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Content: The rising global demand for metals in a context of declining ore grades is driving the opening of new mines and the expansion of existing ones, disturbing substantial land areas (especially by open pits). However, how much land is currently disturbed globally? How much land could be disturbed by metal mining in 2050? This study investigates the global area disturbed by mining of iron, bauxite, copper, gold, and silver for the first time. The first part consists of the calculation of the specific land requirements, i.e. the area newly disturbed caused by the ore extraction at the mine site. The second part addresses the global area disturbed in the year 2011 whereas the third presents scenarios of how such area might evolve until 2050. The last part addresses the current and future pressures on global biodiversity by metal mines and shows possibilities for the future opening of new mines in low biodiversity areas, alleviating pressures in high biodiversity ones. This study presents the findings of the author´s dissertation hoping they are used as a frame to develop policies and incentives to reduce the amount of area directly disturbed by mines and their pressures on biodiversity.

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