The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment

, Volume 22, Issue 11, pp 1864–1874 | Cite as

Promoting life cycle thinking for sustainability in the mining sector of the Philippines

  • Raquel M. BalanayEmail author
  • Anthony Halog



This paper aims to promote life cycle thinking for the mining sector in the Philippines in enhancing the interventions intended for mining as a catalyst of sustainable development in the country. The environmental ills of mining hinder the sector’s acceptability as a catalyst, which is detrimental to its sustainability at the same time.


Previous works on mining impacts and life cycle thinking and assessment in the country had been reviewed to glean insights on integrating life cycle thinking in mining. Why and how such thinking and approach should be accounted for in mining is examined from these works to figure out the strategies through which mining is helped in mitigating its environmental ills.

Results and discussion

Life cycle thinking helps establish a logical approach in analysing issues associated with mining processes and products. It is of great relevance in preparing for contingencies for the adverse environmental outcomes that arise at any point of mining’s life cycle (exploration to mine closure) and the mining products’ life cycles (extraction to recycling or to accumulation). With its associated assessment procedures, life cycle thinking provides a logical system in obtaining scientific evidence for forward planning particularly on the aspect of sustainable mitigation of mining’s environmental outcomes.


It is apt that life cycle thinking be seriously accounted for in mining to improve the current undertakings of troubleshooting and addressing the adverse environmental outcomes of mining. Important insights from it facilitate the identification of sustainable mitigation strategies and who could take the lead actions, such as in developing business linkages and new markets to capitalize on the wastes and emissions from mining operations. The insights can greatly help the mining sector build its capability to come in harmony with people and nature, and work as a catalyst of sustainable development in the country.


Life cycle assessment Life cycle thinking Mining Philippines Product life cycle Sustainable development 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geography, Planning and Environmental ManagementUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural ResourcesCaraga State UniversityButuan CityPhilippines

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