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    Criticality and supply risk models seek to address concerns of potential disruption to global metal supply. These models need to incorporate disruption events that arise from within the mining industry's market structure. In this paper, we review what we refer to as events of "mine life cycle disruption". These include project abandonments, premature closures, care and maintenance, and ownership changes. Life cycle disruptions not only cause production disruptions but also embed social and environmental risks in global metal markets. They arise from the highly variable business environment in which the resources sector operates. Changing commodity prices directly influence mining revenues and drive decisions on whether to halt or push forward a project. While some disruptions are involuntary and induced by external economic conditions, others are purposefully triggered by certain mining companies that use them to their advantage. We examine the frequency of these disruptions based on a contemporary global inventory of 35,000 mining projects and present the findings against recent developments in the research literature. We conclude that life cycle disruption events are an important consideration in balancing the demand for metals and the social and environmental impacts of mining and propose pathways for managing these events and their effects.


    Éléonore Lèbre, John R Owen, Martin Stringer, Deanna Kemp, Rick K Valenta. Global Scan of Disruptions to the Mine Life Cycle: Price, Ownership, and Local Impact. Environmental science & technology. 2021 Apr 20;55(8):4324-4331

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    PMID: 33760596

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