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Perceptions of supplier impacts on sustainable development in the mining and minerals sector: a survey analysing opportunities and barriers from an Australian perspective


  • Turlough F. Guerin

    (Bioregional Australia Foundation)


Suppliers have an important role in enabling the mining and minerals industry to achieve their goals for sustainable development and demonstrating corporate responsibility. Barriers that are limiting their business’ ability to maximise the contribution of suppliers to business outcomes were a limited understanding of their client’s business’ (by suppliers), insufficient time, and resources to dedicate to managing suppliers effectively (from the mining company’s perspective), and preferred vendor status. When mining companies had successfully engaged with suppliers, the supplier understood the needs of the business and tailored its approach accordingly. The supplier could demonstrate how its own commitment to environmental management and sustainable development would benefit the mining operation so understood the needs of their client. The supplier created value for the mining operation by reducing costs and providing an improved solution (compared with existing solutions). The supplier also knew the life-cycle impacts of its own goods and/or services on the mining operation’s business. Recommendations for future research would be in understanding application of blockchain and other technologies to streamline the transactions between suppliers and mining companies. They also could include harnessing the capabilities of suppliers to de-risk supply chains in terms of modern slavery, increasing the efficiency of their supply chains (i.e. reduce time, cost, maintaining quality), and eliminating waste in the broadest sense across mining operations.

Suggested Citation

  • Turlough F. Guerin, 2020. "Perceptions of supplier impacts on sustainable development in the mining and minerals sector: a survey analysing opportunities and barriers from an Australian perspective," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 33(3), pages 375-388, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minecn:v:33:y:2020:i:3:d:10.1007_s13563-020-00224-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s13563-020-00224-5

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Turlough Guerin, 2022. "Questions that board directors should be asking about emerging governance issues and risk: a practitioner’s view and implications for the extractive industries," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 35(2), pages 221-237, June.
    2. Guerin, Turlough F., 2022. "Business model scaling can be used to activate and grow the biogas-to-grid market in Australia to decarbonise hard-to-abate industries: An application of entrepreneurial management," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 158(C).
    3. Guerin, Turlough F., 2021. "Tactical problems with strategic consequences: A case study of how petroleum hydrocarbon suppliers support compliance and reduce risks in the minerals sector," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    4. Dou Shiquan & Xu Deyi, 2023. "The security of critical mineral supply chains," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 36(3), pages 401-412, September.

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    More about this item


    Suppliers; Supply chain; Sustainable development; Barriers; Adoption; Survey; Australia; Survey; Minerals processing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L70 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - General


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