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Threat on Mineral Resources of Future

Threat on Mineral Resources of Future

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A mineral property is a wasting asset. The reserves in a mine are continuously decreasing. It is not like agriculture where crops can be raised again and again on the same land. Some authorities apprehend that the known reserves of minerals may not last long and most of them will exhaust well within 100 to 200 years.
A mineral property is a wasting asset. The reserves in a mine are continuously decreasing. It is not like agriculture where crops can be raised again and again on the same land. Some authorities apprehend that the known reserves of minerals may not last long and most of them will exhaust well within 100 to 200 years.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi on Jul 14, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/30/2013

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Mineral reserves of the world may notlast long.
ByDr. Nitish PriyadarshiEmail.nitish.priyadarshi@gmail.com
The use of minerals has been instrumental in raising the standard of living of mankind.The names of the minerals and their products have been used to christen various eras of civilization, such as the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the Nuclear Age.The sophisticated world of today is largely the result of the enlarged use of minerals,whether it be as fertilizer for food, coal, petroleum, natural gas and atomic energy assources of power, or countless other necessities of life, like automobiles, aero planes,ships, modern communications and a host of chemicals which are derived from the use of minerals.Minerals thus form a part and parcel of our daily life. Since the beginning of this centurythe use of minerals has been greatly diversified and expanded. Their consumption hasshown an unprecedented increase, year after year. It has been estimated that the quantityof mineral consumed in the last 70 years even exceeds the aggregate quantity consumedin previous human history. The sharp rise in consumption has accelerated attempts incontinuous search for locating new deposits and even deeper probe into the womb of theearth and the ocean beds.
 
Minerals do not occur where we want them to be nor deposits become assets unlessexplored and developed. Experience shows that no country possesses adequate resourcesof all minerals. Several countries are practically devoid of mineral wealth and many haveinadequate resources.Since the future of humanity depends on mineral resources, we must understand thatthese resources have limits; our known supply of minerals will be used up early in thethird millennium of our calendar. Furthermore, modern agriculture and the ability to feedan overpopulated world is dependent on mineral resources to construct the machines thattill the soil, enrich it with mineral fertilizers, and to transport the products. As geologists,we cannot tell you that mineral resources are finite. The presently available resourceswere created by earth processes and after we exhaust them, more will develop in a fewtens of million years, which is not in human lifespans.Though minerals are essential for the continued industrial development, as well as for industries, the minerals often does not last long. A mineral property is a wasting asset.The reserves in a mine are continuously decreasing. It is not like agriculture where cropscan be raised again and again on the same land. Some authorities apprehend that theknown reserves of minerals may not last long and most of them will exhaust well within100 to 200 years. Even the minerals which are relatively plentiful will become extremelyexpensive because of the depletion of large, rich and easily accessible deposits of thesemetals.This prediction has got some validity in respect of expendable minerals like petroleum,and non-expendable metals like tungsten, tin, lead, zinc and mercury. In the book “Limitsto Growth” by the club of Rome a great apprehension has been shown about the life of many minerals. They have calculated the life of various minerals deposits by dividing theknown reserves by the total consumption at a static rate and came to the followingconclusions:Commodity Total life (years).Aluminium 100Chromium 420Coal 2300Cobalt 110Copper 36Gold 11Iron 240Lead 26 Natural Gas 38Petroleum 31Zinc 23Though these predictions are old but it looks true to some extent with the existingknowledge of the reserves. A reserve of many minerals has improved due to

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