An integrated review of concepts and initiatives for mining the technosphere: towards a new taxonomy
2013 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 55, 35-44 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Stocks of finite resources in the technosphere continue to grow due to human activity, at the expense ofdecreasing in-ground deposits. Human activity, in other words, is changing the prerequisites for mineralextraction. For that reason, mining will probably have to adapt accordingly, with more emphasis on theexploitation of previously extracted minerals.This study reviews the prevailing concepts for mining the technosphere as well as actual efforts to doso, the objectives for mining, the scale of the initiatives, and what makes them different from other reuseand recycling concepts. Prevailing concepts such as “urban mining,” however, are inadequate guides tothe complexity of the technosphere, as these concepts are inconsistently defined and disorganized, oftenoverlapping when it comes to which stocks they address. This review of these efforts and their potentialis therefore organized around a new taxonomy based on the umbrella concept technospheric mining,defined as the extraction of technospheric stocks of minerals that have been excluded from ongoinganthropogenic material flows.An analysis on the basis of this taxonomy shows that the prevailing mining initiatives are generallyscattered and often driven by environmental factors, in which metal recovery is viewed as an additionalsource of revenue. However, development of technology, specialized actors and new business modelsand policy instruments, could lead to technospheric mining operations becoming a profit-drivenbusiness.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013. Vol. 55, 35-44 p.
Resource management, Metal stocks, Secondary resources, Recycling, Urban mining.
National CategoryOther Environmental Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77301DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.04.007ISI: 000322802300004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-77301DiVA: diva2:526251
ProjectsUrban mining: laying the foundation for a new line of business