enviro - 12-6 Chapter

enviro - 12-6 Chapter - Section 12-6: SUPPLIES OF MINERAL...

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Section 12-6: “SUPPLIES OF MINERAL RESOURCES” Science and Economics: Supplies of Nonrenewable Mineral Resources The future supply of a nonrenewable mineral depends on: the actual or potential supply of the mineral and the rate at which we consume it. We never completely run out of a mineral: they become economically depleted (it costs more to find, extract, transport, and process the mineral than it is worth). When a mineral becomes economically depleted there are five options: 1. Recycle or reuse existing supplies 2. Waste less 3. Use less 4. Find a substitute 5. Do without Depletion time: The time it takes to use a certain fraction (usually 80%) of the known or estimated sup- ply of a nonrenewable resource at an assumed rate of use. Finding and extracting the remaining 20% of the resource usually costs more than it is worth. Economics and Politics: Prices and Supplies of Nonrenewable Resources Geologic processes determine the quantity an location of a mineral resource in the earth’s crust. Economics determines what part of the known supply is actually extracted and used.
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course ENVIRO 101 taught by Professor Wood during the Spring '11 term at South Carolina.

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enviro - 12-6 Chapter - Section 12-6: SUPPLIES OF MINERAL...

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