Authors:Alena Bleicher (Harz University of Applied Science)
Martin David (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH - UFZ )
Henriette Rutjes (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH - UFZ)
Paper short abstract:
Within this presentation we will shed light on the convergence of techno-scientific expertise and local knowledge and reveal mechanisms and techniques that are employed by techno-scientific experts in order to create a shared understanding on secondary mining.
Paper long abstract:
Within the last decade recycling of mining heaps and tailings in European countries has been discussed as option to ensure supply with scarce minerals needed for high technology. Scientific expertise from natural sciences such as chemistry, biology, but also hydrogeology and engineering geology as well as scientific expertise from fields such as exploration and mineral processing builds the basis of technology development for the practice of so called secondary mining. When analyzing new resource frontiers emphasize is made on twisting of scientific expertise, financial and technical infrastructures and geo-political imaginaries.
Within this presentation we will shed light on the convergence of techno-scientific expertise and local knowledge and expertise (e.g. knowledge on practices related to the formation of heaps and tailings). Our research in the field of secondary mining in Germany shows that this "liaison" is crucial for the making of secondary resources. We rely on the assumption that local knowledge can only be made available for scientific research when local actors share the understanding of mining heaps as deposit of valuable resources. By using a frame theoretical approach we will reveal how techno-scientific experts rely on mechanisms and techniques such as frame bridging (linking the resource discourse with the discourse on sustainability and healthy environments) or frame amplification by evoking regional mining history in order to create a shared meaning.
Techno-scientific expertise and geographical imaginaries in the making of new resource frontiers