Mineral Resource Depletion at the Turn of the Century

by John J. Schanz, Jr., Fellow and Asst. Dir.; Energy and Materials Div., Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Power Division, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 1, Pg. 57-64

Document Type: Journal Paper


Declining U.S. production of petroleum and natural gas and greater reliance on foreign sources for various raw materials have revived the debate about mineral resource adequacy. Some view the earth's crust as still inadequately explored, or that price and technology will unlock the unused resources. The counter-argument is that we have been relying on unusually rich deposits. In the future, lower grade occurrences will bring rapidly rising production costs and energy requirements. Excluding petroleum, the shift of the United States to importing has been gradual. For some commodities, we are importing lower percentages of our needs today than previously. Given our resource endowment, we are to be faulted for our lack of anticipation of future needs. Current capacity difficulties do not necessarily suggest major shortages in the year 2000.

Subject Headings: Minerals | Natural gas | Pricing | Geological faults | United States

Services: Buy this book/Buy this article


Return to search