VolRC RAS scientific journal (printed edition)

Journal section "Sustainable development of territories, branches, and production complexes"

Towards dynamic view on sustainability of mining

Juha K.

6 (80), 2015

Juha K. Towards dynamic view on sustainability of mining. Problems of Territory's Development, 2015, no. 6 (80), pp. 51-62

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The article explores the controversial role of the extractive industries in regional development. It investigates the sustainability in mineral extraction first from a traditional perspective through the notions of ecological, economic, social and cultural sustainability. While ecological sustainability can be understood as forming the foundations of any sustainability debate, an issue for discussing the sustainability of mining is whether we are dealing with the ecological impacts of an activity or the physical environment more broadly. Economic sustainability is another controversial concern for mining, and even if mining provides employment, it is not without problems for the local and regional economies. Social sustainability focuses on the reduction of adverse impacts on social structures, relations and networks, and tends to be concentrated on the local community. Resource communities often have a strong identity that is related to the exploitation of the specific resource, which emphasises the relations between mining and cultural sustainability. It is then argued that the problem with the traditional approach on sustainability is that its inability to pay attention to the naturally dynamic nature of the mineral extraction hinders its possibility to properly analyse the sustainability of mining. The paper introduces the concept of resilience into the debate over the sustainability of mining in order to provide a more dynamic view on the relations of mining and sustainability. Resilience generally means capacity to survive through change. The different variations of resilience are examined, with the goal of investigating how each of them could help analyse the sustainability of mining. These different variations of resilience provide different angles for exploring the sustainability of local communities impacted by mining


sustainable development, mining, traditional and dynamic approaches to sustainability, implementation of vital capacity