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2022: Mineral Resources and Sustainability: Environmental and Social Considerations for Mineral Resource Development in Ecuador

The green energy revolution will require a significant increase in the use of mineral resources for the renewable energy technologies required for a low carbon future. Large-scale mineral extraction industries are increasingly cooperating with small-scale and artisanal mining operations to improve relationships with local communities and improve the occupational safety and environmental management of artisanal mining operations. Around the world, global needs for intensified mineral production must be reconciled with local concerns about environmental impact and the equitable distribution of economic gains from mineral extraction.

In this project, a multi-disciplinary team will explore relationships among artisanal mining, corporate mining industries, and local communities in Ecuador and how to enhance artisanal mining sustainability. This research seeks to improve the environmental sustainability of mining activities by implementing bio-mining activities with lower life cycle environmental impacts than traditional methods.

[This project received an Office of Engagement Initiatives supplemental grant.]

Investigators: Matthew Reid, Karin Olson Hoal, Ken Roberts, and Louisa Smieska

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