Summary of Seven Trends Shaping the Future of the Mining and Metals Industry

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Seven Trends Shaping the Future of the Mining and Metals Industry summary

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Scholars from Columbia Law School’s Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment present seven major trends that will transform the mining and metals industry. Mining firms will sink or swim depending on how well they prepare for these changes, say the authors, so industry leaders and strategists shouldn’t miss this forward-looking article.

About the Authors

Nicolas Maennling is senior economics and policy researcher at Columbia Law School’s Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, where Perrine Toledano is head of extractive industries.


The mining and metals sector is striving to stabilize amid seismic shifts. Erratic markets and dropping prices are forcing industry players to minimize costs, streamline operations and automate. Though demand for minerals looks to keep increasing, seven industry forces will decide which companies endure:

  1. “Transition to a low-carbon economy” – Mitigating climate change requires nations to replace carbon-powered energy systems by 2050. Low-emission alternatives use more minerals, which bodes well for mining. But the industry must decrease its own emissions – for example, by drawing on renewable energy and recycling part of the value chain.
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