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Economics literature on joint production of minerals: A survey

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  • Jordan, Brett

Abstract

Processes which produce more than one output jointly are common across a host of industries and play a notable role in mineral supply. Many important commodities including oil and gas, copper and gold, or iron and rare earth elements, are produced together as joint products. Despite its prevalence, joint production has received only minor explicit treatment in the literature on mineral economics. This paper surveys and categorizes the mineral economics literature to highlight notable works and gaps that deserve the attention of future researchers. A key finding of the survey is that little unifying and empirically tested theory explains the behavior of multi-product firms or markets. However, several studies have found that unimportant joint products, sometimes called by-products, tend to be more available in an economic or physical sense than conventional wisdom may hold. Finally, literature on agriculture and fishing economics are provided as an example of how mineral economics might be better integrated into the economics discipline as a whole.

Suggested Citation

  • Jordan, Brett, 2018. "Economics literature on joint production of minerals: A survey," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 20-28.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:55:y:2018:i:c:p:20-28
    DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2017.10.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Kim, Kihyung, 2020. "Jointly produced metal markets are endogenously unstable," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    2. Shammugam, Shivenes & Rathgeber, Andreas & Schlegl, Thomas, 2019. "Causality between metal prices: Is joint consumption a more important determinant than joint production of main and by-product metals?," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 49-66.
    3. Tulsidas, Harikrishnan & Gabriel, Sophie & Kiegiel, Katarzyna & Haneklaus, Nils, 2019. "Uranium resources in EU phosphate rock imports," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 151-156.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Survey; Multi-product firm; Joint production; By-product; Poly-metallic;

    JEL classification:

    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q31 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights

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