Minerals, Metals and Sustainability

Paperback - September 2011 - AU $120.00

eBook - September 2011 - eRetailers

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Examines the role of minerals in modern society and the implications of sustainable development for the minerals industry.

Minerals, Metals and Sustainability examines the exploitation of minerals and mineral products and the implications for sustainability of the consumption of finite mineral resources and the wastes associated with their production and use. It provides a multi-disciplinary approach that integrates the physical and earth sciences with the social sciences, ecology and economics. + Full description

Increasingly, graduates in the minerals industry and related sectors will not only require a deep technical and scientific understanding of their fields (such as geology, mining, metallurgy), but will also need a knowledge of how their industry relates to and can contribute to the transition to sustainability.

Minerals, Metals and Sustainability is an important reference for students of engineering and applied science and geology; practising engineers, geologists and scientists; students of economics, social sciences and related disciplines; professionals in government service in areas such as resources, environment and sustainability; and non-technical professionals working in the minerals industry or in sectors servicing the minerals industry.

- Short description


"Minerals, Metals and Sustainability is a book that brings all the relevant minerals industry and sustainability topics together in a reference book format that is easy to read with stand alone chapters."
Kate Sommerville, AusIMM Bulletin, pp. 91, December 2012

"In this excellent book, Rankin, an educator and researcher in South Africa, Canada, and Australia, takes a balanced, multidisciplinary approach that integrates the science of mineral commodities, the engineering of their utility, and the indispensable role they play in the survival and sustainability problems facing global society. In addition, the author’s clear, skilful writing effectively informs the many scientists, engineers, economists, social scientists, and politicians who must understand the rudiments, at least, of these interdependent disciplines."
T.L.T. Grose, Choice, May 2012 Vol. 49 No. 09


Paperback | September 2011 | $120.00
ISBN: 9780643097261 | 440 pages | 200 x 260 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing

ePDF | September 2011
ISBN: 9780643097278
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • Overview of the minerals industry, its role in the world today and in the future.
  • Outlines the sustainability issues facing the minerals industry and how they might be addressed.
  • No prior specialist knowledge is assumed other than an elementary knowledge of chemistry and physics.


  1. Introduction
  2. Materials and the materials cycle
  3. An introduction to Earth
  4. An introduction to sustainability
  5. Mineral resources
  6. The minerals industry
  7. Producing ores and concentrates
  8. Producing metals and manufactured mineral products
  9. Energy consumption in primary production
  10. The role of water in primary production
  11. Wastes from primary production
  12. Management of wastes from primary production
  13. Secondary materials and recycling
  14. The future availability of minerals and metals
  15. The future demand for minerals and metals
  16. Towards zero waste
  17. Towards sustainability
View the full table of contents.


W. John Rankin is an Honorary Fellow and has held academic and research appointments in South Africa, Canada and Australia. He was Director of the G. K. Williams Cooperative Research Centre for Extractive Metallurgy, Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne and Chief Scientist of CSIRO Division of Minerals. He has written over 100 scientific papers and 70 technical reports on extractive metallurgy and sustainable development.