The bright future of global mineral resources


We are in the midst of the biggest boom in mineral production ever experienced,
and the future is bright for continuing the boom. Despite the recent economic recession,
for the most part, demand for mineral resources has steadily increased with rising
world population and improvement in the standard of living in many parts of the
world. Although recycling and extraction of metals fromlow-grade, former waste will
contribute to supply, new resources will need to be found. To meet global demand for
gold, we are mining the equivalent of a Carlin trend each year, and to meet global demand
for copper, we are mining the equivalent of a Bingham Canyon deposit each
year. The geopolitical landscape of mineral resources has shifted dramatically in recent
decades. China is by far the leading mineral producer. With 20% of the global
population, China produces approximately 97% of the world’s rare earth elements,
81% of the tungsten, 40% of the coal, and 39% of the iron ore. Of 41 keymineral commodities
produced in 2009, China was a significant producer (with 10% of world
supply) of 26 and first in the production of 21, while the US, a distant second in global
mineral production, was a significant producer of 7 and the leader for 4 of those commodities.

SKU: 2010-24 Category:

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Primary Author

Jonathon Price




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