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Threat of mining to African great apes

Junker, Jessica, Quoss, Luise, Valdez, Jose, Arandjelovic, Mimi, Barrie, Abdulai, Campbell, Geneviève, Heinicke, Stefanie, Humle, Tatyana, Kouakou, Célestin Y, Kühl, Hjalmar S, and others. (2024) Threat of mining to African great apes. Science Advances, 10 (14). Article Number eadl0335. ISSN 2375-2548. (doi:10.1126/sciadv.adl0335) (KAR id:105599)


The rapid growth of clean energy technologies is driving a rising demand for critical minerals. In 2022 at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), seven major economies formed an alliance to enhance the sustainability of mining these essential decarbonization minerals. However, there is a scarcity of studies assessing the threat of mining to global biodiversity. By integrating a global mining dataset with great ape density distribution, we estimated the number of African great apes that spatially coincided with industrial mining projects. We show that up to one-third of Africa's great ape population faces mining-related risks. In West Africa in particular, numerous mining areas overlap with fragmented ape habitats, often in high-density ape regions. For 97% of mining areas, no ape survey data are available, underscoring the importance of increased accessibility to environmental data within the mining sector to facilitate research into the complex interactions between mining, climate, biodiversity, and sustainability.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1126/sciadv.adl0335
Uncontrolled keywords: Animals, Hominidae, Minerals, Ecosystem, Biodiversity, Africa, Western
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Funders: European Union (
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2024 14:38 UTC
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2024 16:07 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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