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Price-making in mineral provisioning systems and social-ecological transformation? The cases of copper, cobalt and lithium

Cornelia Staritz / Bernhard Tröster / Aleksandra Wojewska

Wien, September 2023

Mineral extraction research has often overlooked the significance of price-making processes. This paper employs a provisioning framework to delve into this process. Price-setting is far from a purely technical exercise; it is a complex power struggle involving various stakeholders as shown for the ‘electric vehicle metals’ copper, cobalt, and lithium. Financial entities exert substantial influence, prioritizing short-term costs while overlooking local and environmental factors, potentially exacerbating resource depletion. To foster sustainability in mining, political and democratic mechanisms for price determination are crucial.

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