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[GreenYes] Re: No shortage of metals in the future?

Hi –


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 efficient.


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!!


Amy Bauman



From: GreenYes@no.address [mailto:GreenYes@no.address] On Behalf Of Thomas Shelley
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."

Tom Shelley
118 E. Court St.
Ithaca, NY 14850
607 342-0864


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