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Resources 2012, 1(1), 23-33; doi:10.3390/resources1010023

Resource Criticality and Commodity Production Projections

1,* , 1,2
1 Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney, Ultimo 2007, Australia 2 Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Clayton 3800, Australia 3 Center for Security Studies, ETH Z├╝rich, Zuerich 8092, Switzerland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 November 2012 / Revised: 10 December 2012 / Accepted: 17 December 2012 / Published: 19 December 2012
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Resource criticality arising from peak production of primary ores is explored in this paper. We combine the Geologic Resource Supply-Demand Model of Mohr [1] to project future resource production for selected commodities in Australia, namely iron and coal which together represent around 50% of the value of total Australian exports as well as copper, gold and lithium. The projections (based on current estimates of ultimately recoverable reserves) indicate that peak production in Australia would occur for lithium in 2015; for gold in 2021; for copper in 2024; for iron in 2039 and for coal in 2060. The quantitative analysis is coupled with the criticality framework for peak minerals of Mason et al. [2] comprising (i) resource availability, (ii) societal resource addiction to commodity use, and (iii) alternatives such as dematerialization or substitution to assess the broader dimension s of peak minerals production for Australia.
Keywords: peak minerals; sustainable; dematerialization; metals peak minerals; sustainable; dematerialization; metals
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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Giurco, D.; Mohr, S.; Mudd, G.; Mason, L.; Prior, T. Resource Criticality and Commodity Production Projections. Resources 2012, 1, 23-33.

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