Carbon Adjusted Efficiency and Technology Gaps in Gold Mining

29 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2022

See all articles by Shabbir Ahmad

Shabbir Ahmad

University of Queensland

John Steen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Rick Valenta

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Saleem Ali

University of Delaware; University of Queensland, School of Politics and Sustainable Minerals Institute; Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

Abstract

This paper analyses the gold sector's environmentally-adjusted (i.e., carbon dioxide – CO2 emissions) efficiency using global mine-level data from 2019. Gold mining involves different production environments and technologies such as open pit and underground, which requires the estimation of separate production frontiers. We apply the directional distance function approach to model the joint production of desired (gold production) and undesired (CO2 emissions) outputs in the production process to estimate meta-frontiers for obtaining mine level efficiency under different technologies.  The results show significant disparities in efficiency both at the mine level and across countries varying (i.e., from 18 percent to 100 percent efficient). We note a considerable variation in mines efficiency ranking after it is adjusted for CO2 emissions in the production process. The technology gap appears to be higher for mines operating underground (i.e., 0.556) than mines operating under open-pit (i.e., 0.995) environment. We also find that countries having renewable energy usage in mining operations exhibit an improved environmental efficiency. The findings suggest that advanced technology and effective management of mine-level operating systems could help mitigate carbon emissions and increase mining efficiency.

Keywords: gold mining, DEA, CO2 efficiency, environment, meta frontier, technology gap

Suggested Citation

Ahmad, Shabbir and Steen, John and Valenta, Rick and Ali, Saleem, Carbon Adjusted Efficiency and Technology Gaps in Gold Mining. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4251011 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4251011

Shabbir Ahmad (Contact Author)

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia
61 7 33468083 (Phone)
61 7 33468166 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://researchers.uq.edu.au/researcher/10045

John Steen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Rick Valenta

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Saleem Ali

University of Delaware ( email )

Newark, DE 19711
United States
8023380440 (Phone)
8023380440 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.saleemali.net

University of Queensland, School of Politics and Sustainable Minerals Institute ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia
+61478876032 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saleem_Ali_%28academic%29

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ccsi.columbia.edu/about-us/fellows-interns/

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
5
Abstract Views
87
PlumX Metrics