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Articles on Raw materials

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A crane carrying with melting steel at the blast furnace Schwelgern 2 at ThyssenKrupp steel mill in Duisburg , Germany (December 12, 2014). Patrik Stollarz/AFP

The ‘circularity paradox’ in the European steel industry

Europe recycles 70% of its steel, but much is exported, turning what should be a circular process into a linear one. Instead, materials need to be circularity-ready the moment they’re manufactured.
Cities like Melbourne are a store for such huge amounts of resources that they could be used as urban mines. Donaldytong (own work)/Wikimedia

With the right tools, we can mine cities

With an ever-increasing cost to extract dwindling raw materials, it’s time to look at cities as urban mines. We’re developing the tools to do that.

Have we hit ‘peak stuff’?

Researchers calculate whether we’re using less materials, or whether we’re just shipping it in from abroad.
Zambia’s success in building its food processing sector depends on tapping into procurement strategies of retail chains such as Shoprite. Reuters/Salim Henry

Can Zambia escape the clutches of the resource curse?

Zambia’s drive to build its industrial capabilities has made steady progress. But it runs up against the history of economies that are dominated by mineral resources and landlocked countries.
All that glitters is not aluminium, iron, copper, or selenium, unfortunately. Arenamontanus

Metals and minerals will be the next finite resource shortfall

We are now looking forward to a low-carbon society where fossil fuels are at least partially replaced with renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, geo-thermal and tidal. Fossil fuels are a finite…
If the resources boom is over, why such high levels of mining investment? AAP

The end of the boom? Someone forgot to tell the resource companies

When the large resource houses seek to invest in capital-intensive and costly minerals projects, what goes through their mind? If the so-called resources boom is over, why are companies still investing…
Chinese investment in smaller iron-ore suppliers in Western Australia not only presents challenges for the market power of the Big 3 mining companies, but also for the viability of iron ore projects in Australia. AAP

How China drives the Australian iron ore boom (and bust)

With several major mining projects being put on ice this week, talk has quickly turned to whether the Australian mining boom is about to go bust. Jumping on comments by the Resources Minister that “the…
The closure of BlueScope’s no 6 Blast Furnace at Port Kembla was an acknowledgement that Australia simply cannot compete with our cheaper Asian rivals.

Glimmers of hope in the steel industry’s darkest hour

The $1 billion dollar annual loss announced by BlueScope Steel confirmed what is common knowledge: the Australian steel industry is in crisis and fighting for survival. The latest statistics show that…
When we start building structures outside Earth, the raw materials will likely come from asteroids. Planetary Resources

Asteroid mining will happen … but Australia will miss the boom

There will be a future mining boom, as heralded in recent media stories. But this mining will take place in a location even more hostile than the Australian Outback – space. More specifically, the ore…

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