Do the different narratives about raw materials supply and use add up to a promising Natural Resource Based Development Scenario?
Paper presented at Globelics Seminar: From resource based to knowledge based economic development, Copenhagen, March 26-27, 2014
Since a few years, natural resources are back in the public policy debate. This is evident in the debate about the future use and opportunities of raw materials, especially metals. However, this increased interest is triggered by various rationales, and is taking place in very different arenas. From the perspective of developing economies, strategies of natural resource based development (NRBD) can only be successful if they are robust with regard to resource strategies and related innovations occurring on a global scale. The paper presents five different narratives about metal resource supply and use, and contrasts them with each other. Matching the prospect of NRBD with other narratives provides a differentiated picture. The advantages might be less broad than a first glimpse seems to promise. A successful strategy should account for environmental and social aspects, and identify the segments of the market which are likely to grow and fit the national capabilities. Given to the diversity of the mining sector in developing countries, it will be a key challenge to transform economic success of a NDBR also to an inclusive development of the part of the population which depend on artisanal and small scale mining.