Physical Factors that Could Restrict Mineral Supply
Published:January 01, 1981
Stages in the metal supply process are affected by each of the following physical (geologic) factors: (1) geographic distribution of concentrations of potential ore minerals, (2) depth of these concentrations, (3) mineralogy, (4) grain size of the minerals, and (5) grade and (6) tonnages of the concentrations. For mineral deposits of each type in each geologic and political environment, the lowest cost metal will tend to be produced first because: (1) the largest deposits tend to be found first, (2) the few largest deposits should reap the benefits of economies of scale and will tend to account for the lion’s share of total metal, (3) higher grade deposits that require substantially less energy per ton of metal than do lower grade deposits will be mined first, and (4) deposits that have the mineralogy and grain sizes that are relatively cheap to process will be produced first. Shallow deposits that are relatively cheap to find and mine and deposits near existing infrastructure will also be produced first. Because stages in the supply process are sequential, problems at any stage caused by the physical factors are reflected in subsequent stages and adversely affect production costs. In the long term, effects of such problems will be not physical shortages of metals but a rapid or persistent increase in real prices of metals.
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Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Volume
The first notions of a new journal came to J. E. Spurr during the closing days of 1904. When he shared his thoughts with friends in Washington, D. C., they were so enthusiastic about the suggestion that they formed themselves into an ad-hoc committee to seek ways to implement the idea. The ad-hoc group met informally for several months and by May of the following year was ready to announce the birth of an unusual new publishing company and the journal the company would produce. The first formal meeting of the Economic Geology Publishing Company took place on May 16, 1905. The first issue of the new journal appeared in October of the same year, and the first volume was completed in December 1906. The birthing was not easy, but it was successful because the founders provided much of the financing as well as the first papers. The story of those earliest days and the many struggles of the fledgling journal is engagingly recounted by Alan M. Bateman in an article published in the Fiftieth Anniversary volume.
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