Sustainability in industrial small scale mining

identifying the contribution to sustainable supply of raw materials

Current projects dealing with sustainable development and resource extraction focus primarily on large-scale mining – especially surface mining – and artisanal gold mining. It is examined whether extraction of small high-quality deposits, with the additional consideration of social and ecological aspects, could be of a higher sustainable value than large-scale mining.

The evaluation is exemplary of the commodity gold, but the methodology can be applied to other commodities respectivley.

Research objectives

  • Are there conditions under which industrial small-scale mining is cheaper than conventional large-scale mining?
  • Methodology for assessing the contributions small industrial mining on Sustainable Development (Gold Case)
  • Development of technical concepts for small industrial mining equipment for the purposes of sustainable development
  • Can small-scale mining be fit into the industrial sustainability debate?
  • Does industrial small-scale mining increase global resources?

Key data

  • Level: national