The primary mission of the minerals industry is to profitably identify and develop a steady supply of minerals at reasonable cost to support the economies of the world. All projections on consumption show across-the-board increases, driven largely by the huge demand for metals to feed the growing Chinese economy. For copper alone, forecasts are that more of this metal will have to be produced in the next 25 years than has been used since industrialization began roughly 200 years ago.

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