Mineral Resources Policy and Economics module (CP52022)

Learn about key economic and other factors which affect the international mining industry. This will also cover legal and policy issues

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Module code


This module explores the drivers of mineral supply, demand, and prices as well as why and how the industry invests.

You will also explore the social, political, and economic consequences of mining. You will also cover the key issues concerning the regulation and taxation of the mining industry and ensuring the supply of raw materials.

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • learn about the interaction between demand, supply, and prices. You will learn about the key policy issues facing companies and governments within the international mining industry
  • learn about the main economic tools available for analysing the international mineral industry
  • gain knowledge of the important economic policy issues in the mining industry

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • use economic analysis to understand issues in the international mining industry
  • review and analyse the main forces that drive the industry, market, and players
  • assess information, research, and analyse issues relating to the mineral industry. These are informed by developments at the forefront of the subject
  • provide advice to government officials or company managers. These will be related to approaches and strategies relating to the mineral industry

Assignments / assessment

  • end-of-semester written exam (40%)
    • 5,000 words
    • 6 hours
  • essay or research paper (60%)
    • 3,000 words
    • research paper topics are typically based around:
      • issues for individual minerals
        • rare earths
        • gemstones in Namibia
        • emeralds in Peru
        • gold mining in Tanzania or Ghana
        • ‘green’ metals
      • policy issues for individual countries
        • infrastructure constraints
        • energy needs
        • taxes and royalties
        • resource curse
      • international issues, or comparative studies between countries

Teaching methods / timetable

  • in-person and online lectures
  • individual presentations
  • group discussion and team work

Teaching will be predominantly online through the Course Classroom. Each class (9 in total) is scheduled over a 3-hour period, with appropriate breaks within each class. The schedule of classes typically looks like this:

Class 1 analyses the basic characteristics and distinguishing features of the global mineral industries and the nature of mineral reserves and resources
Class 2 looks at the economics of demand for minerals and mineral products
Class 3 discusses the various factors affecting costs of production and supply
Class 4 brings together demand and supply, to give a description of the main theoretical determinants of mineral market pricing
Class 5 takes a more practical look at market structures and methods of pricing
Class 6 examines the main forces driving trends in exploration and mine development, and influencing their location
Class 7 analyses the mineral industries’ contributions to economic activity and their often disputed role in economic development
Class 8 examines social and environmental aspects of mining within the framework of sustainable development
Class 9 discusses the main economic policy issues for the mineral industries from the differing viewpoints of the various actors involved


This module is available on following courses: