My work on the problem of mineral depletion is reported mainly in the upcoming book "Extracted", published by Chelsea Green (click here for a description). At the same time, I am also publishing more in-depth examinations of the depletion question in scientific journals. Here is a recent one published in "Frontiers in Energy Systems and Policy". The title "The Mineral Question" echoes Jevons's 1866 paper titled "The Coal Question." Jevons examined coal depletion in light of the principle of diminishing returns and this paper of mine does the same for the general depletion problem. In the end, it is all a question of net energy (or "energy return on energy invested, EROEI). The diminishing EROEI of fossil fuels is spilling to all sectors of the economy, including the mining industry, causing increasing costs which add up to the problems caused by the depletion of high grade ores. There follows the abstract, to read the full paper (open access) click here
Front. Energy Res., 24 December 2013 | doi: 10.3389/fenrg.2013.00009
The mineral question: how energy and technology will determine the future of mining
- Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Firenze, Firenze, Italy
Click here to read the full paper "Frontiers in Energy Systems and Policy"