Artisanal small-scale mining in Africa competes for resources with farming.
Without careful policy consideration the rise of artisanal and small-scale mining in resource rich African countries stands to disturb agricultural activity and associated livelihoods.
Africa needs to structure better economic deals with China.
The Chinese £1bn investment in Sheffield, a former mining town in northern England, comes with valuable lessons about how Africa can maximise economic value in its dealings with China.
The fourth episode of our podcast takes on fuel – from Olympic diets to conflict over oil in the Niger Delta.
Can undersea oil rigs become homes?
US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
In coming decades many oil and gas platforms will have to be retired. Rather than being dismantled, they could be given a new lease of life as artificial reefs, helping industry and the environment.
The African Union laboratory in Nansana, a suburb of Kampala, Uganda.
Ikko Kobayashi and Fumi Kashimura/Terrain-Architects
There is a growing trend of designing modernised replicas of traditional buildings for entertainment and tourism. That’s no way to salvage positive lessons from building traditions.
Time to take a different road?
The world's use of finite resources continues to rise as global development continues. Can we help poorer nations raise their standard of living without exhausting all of our raw materials?
Disputed: Taiping Island, in the South China Sea.
Office of the President of Taiwan
Business Briefing: Trouble in the South China Sea.
The Conversation 14.1 MB (download)
The international court ruling against China's expansion in the South China Sea puts Australia in a tricky situation.
Mineral processing tailings are pumped into a storage facility. Are there still valuable commodities in this waste?
Identifying mine waste materials as economic resources will help support global demand for critical metals, boosting the mining industry during the downturn. All with environmental benefits.
Africa must rise by becoming self-reliant.
US Army Africa/Flickr
Africa has been called a "consumer continent" by many, but in reality much of what its people consume is produced elsewhere. Technology is key to Africa becoming a self-reliant producer of goods.
The earth is a finite place.
Earth image from www.shutterstock.com
The global economy is already unsustainable – let alone if it gets bigger.
Is the coal train leaving town?
We hear a lot about how essential coal and other mineral exports are for Australia. Is it true? Only for a relatively small section of the population.
The mining sector is facing one of its toughest periods and large miners like BHP and Rio Tinto are not immune.
Increased competition and weak commodities prices will pressure to the mining sector to cut costs.
A company’s homepage will tell you more about its core values than any “social responsibility” statement.
Brian A. Johnson/Shutterstock.com
Do companies really mean it when they talk about being socially responsible? Judging by their mission statements and homepages, it seems increasingly that resources firms do, but many retailers don't.
Could municipal biosolids be a trove of tiny treasure?
Heather Lowers, USGS Denver Microbeam Laboratory
Mining waste rock from historic mines or even treated sewage to find useful metals and minerals could be a sustainable way to meet demand for these finite resources.
The world of coal: a still from the new Minerals Council advertisement.
The Minerals Council's new coal ad is the latest to attract derision online. But for the resources industry, the mockery may just be collateral damage in the wider mission to reach out to its supporters.
A cleaner walks past a promotional poster at an Africa Development bank meeting in Shanghai. Western perceptions of China’s investments in Africa are off the mark.
Contrary to Western views, China is in Africa for business. Between 1998 and 2012, about 2000 Chinese firms invested in 49 countries on the African continent.
Political goals for Russia’s gas giant.
What does Gazprom hope to achieve with its deep and generous relationship with football?
The latest coal mine approved in Australia is destined for exports.
Experts respond to the recently-approved Shenhua Watermark coal mine.
There’s only one of them.
How can we live within the means of our planet? Almost all environmental literature grossly underestimates what is needed for our civilisation to become sustainable.
What goes up must come down: Australia’s economy is in for a wild ride ahead.
AAP Image/Dave Hunt
Now is not the time for complacency. Australia must be on the front foot if it wants to make the most of what economists are calling the "new normal."