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Resources and reserves: thoughts on their evolution


  • James Otto

    (Natural Resources Attorney and Mineral Economist)


Some mineral resources are classifiable as reserves. Extensive seminal research on reserves by Tilton has identified three factors that influence whether resources are economically feasible for extraction and thus qualify as reserves. The author argues that policy, regulatory, and social factors, not or only peripherally related to economic feasibility, can also determine whether a resource qualifies as a mineral reserve.

Suggested Citation

  • James Otto, 2020. "Resources and reserves: thoughts on their evolution," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 33(1), pages 253-255, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minecn:v:33:y:2020:i:1:d:10.1007_s13563-019-00187-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s13563-019-00187-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tilton, John E., 2001. "Labor productivity, costs, and mine survival during a recession," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 107-117, June.
    2. Otto, James M., 1997. "A national mineral policy as a regulatory tool," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 1-7, June.
    3. Garcia, Patricio & Knights, Peter F. & Tilton, John E., 2001. "Labor productivity and comparative advantage in mining:: the copper industry in Chile," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 97-105, June.
    4. Yaksic, Andrés & Tilton, John E., 2009. "Using the cumulative availability curve to assess the threat of mineral depletion: The case of lithium," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 185-194, December.
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