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Exploring barriers and drivers to the implementation of circular economy practices in the mining industry

Upadhyay, Arvind; Laing, Tim; Kumar, Vikas; Dora, Manoj


Arvind Upadhyay

Tim Laing

Manoj Dora


The circular economy is a widely discussed topic in the field of Eco-industrial initiatives and environmentally responsive economies. The current economic and industrial model which is termed as the produce-use-dispose model is a linear model in which the resources are lost forever after their utilization; a waste of resources as well as money. In addition to economic impact, it creates immense pressure on the environment while disposing of the waste products. For this reason, scholars are trying to find an effective solution to this problem by ensuring the re-utilization of resources. The economic concept of the circular economy ensures the recycling and utilization of resources and closes the resource loop. In a world of reducing and often scarce natural resources, the recycling and utilization of resources increase the opportunities for economic growth– this is especially important given the rising demand for natural resources in emerging economies – exacerbated by the low-carbon transition. This study encompasses these ideas and explores the barriers, drivers and triggers of the circular economy transition for the mining industry. In this paper, authors review several circular economy initiatives taken by mining industries. The paper aims to demonstrate some common themes across three big mining companies with the help of content analysis; and evaluates the identified barriers, drivers and triggers of these circular economy initiatives. The authors argue that the mining industry might capitalize on the learning of other industries in relation to CE, enabling timely advancement of circular economy initiatives.


Upadhyay, A., Laing, T., Kumar, V., & Dora, M. (2021). Exploring barriers and drivers to the implementation of circular economy practices in the mining industry. Resources Policy, 72,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 17, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 26, 2021
Publication Date Aug 1, 2021
Deposit Date Feb 17, 2021
Publicly Available Date Aug 27, 2022
Journal Resources Policy
Print ISSN 0301-4207
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 72
Article Number 102037
Keywords Circular economy; Mining industry; Extraction industry; Barriers of circular economy; Drivers of circular economy
Public URL