The Impact of the Geological Sciences on Society
The challenges of mineral resources for society
Published:September 01, 2013
Jonathan G. Price, 2013. "The challenges of mineral resources for society", The Impact of the Geological Sciences on Society, Marion E. Bickford
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Trends in global mineral production and expanding uses of mineral resources foretell a bright future, though one with significant challenges, for exploration and development. Demand for mineral resources is likely to remain high and grow to meet increases in world population and standards of living. Significant challenges include meeting future demand with new discoveries and developing the resources in environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways. A historical perspective from the past 50 years on finding new mineral districts, discovering new types of ore deposits, and using new technologies in exploration suggests that the world will not run out of mineral resources. It is likely that substitution and recycling will play increasingly major roles in meeting global mineral demand. New technologies for ocean mining will help add to the resource base. Historical perspectives also suggest that mining scams will continue, and environmental, health, and safety concerns will be major factors in deciding where future mines will be located and how they will be operated.