There are quite a few factors in the supply/demand thing that he
doesn’t make explicit. TE Graedel (Sch of Env and Forestry, Yale)
talks about the energy needed to mine increasingly dissipated resources. The
pure, big veins of metal aren’t there any more … the metal is increasingly
mixed into rock, and the refinement process takes more and more BTUs to produce
the same amount.
Over time, this dramatically increases the price of mining
virgin material and makes the concept of mining landfills more financially
If people are interested, TE Graedel gets into the financial /
scarcity drivers in a concept called “Sherwood plot”, where certain
metals are scarcer / harder to refine than others. Interesting stuff!!
GreenYes@no.address [mailto:GreenYes@no.address] On Behalf Of Thomas
Sent: Friday, October 12, 2007 8:01 AM
To: GreenYes@no.address; sustainable Tompkins County listserv
Subject: [GreenYes] No shortage of metals in the future?
Dear Friends--I have a deep suspicion that there is
something wrong with this guy's logic. Such as there will be no energy
available for the reclamation re sees off in the future? Or am I being
short sighted? Tom
"Canadian metals guru Brian Smith, director of the Metal Materials
Division at Natural Resources Canada, says over the long term there shouldn't
be any metals shortages. Higher prices, he adds, are short term until
supply catches up with demand. "Minerals and metals are part of the
periodic table, so they can be neither created nor destroyed. Recycling means
that they will always be available to us, providing that we don't eliminate
them by scattering them in places we can't reach." He adds whatever comes
out of the ground can be recovered, and even landfills can be considered as
storage for the future."
118 E. Court St.
Ithaca, NY 14850