New research has called for a global resource governance framework to address the growing demand for minerals.
Professor Saleem H. Ali, who took part in the research while he was chair in Sustainable Resource Development at the University of Queensland, highlighted the need for metals and minerals in mobile phones, laptops, electric cars, household copper wire and solar panels.
However, there are no international supply assurance systems despite increasing demand.
“This means we need global resource governance and a sharing of geoscience data to address supply issues,” Ali said.
“There are treaties on climate change, biodiversity, migratory species and even waste management of organic chemicals, but there is no international mechanism to govern how mineral supply should be coordinated.”
The international research team discovered that mining exploration and recycling was not keeping up with future mineral demand.
Ali hoped the findings would be the beginning of developing a solution to help countries plan for mineral shortages through international governance mechanisms.
“Countries where many rare minerals are likely to be found may have poor governance, making them a higher risk for supply,” he said.
The research was also supported by researchers from the University of Technology Sydney, the University of Western Australia, CSIRO, UNESCO, the International Union of Geological Sciences and the International Council of Science Unions.
It was published in the journal Nature.