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  • Writer's pictureGeoffrey Wade

This mining myth is busted

The world of mining has its fair share of myths and misconceptions, some of which have been challenged and debunked with recent advancements and improved understanding.

One of my favourite noteworthy examples: “Mineral resources are running out.” Supporters of the idea argue exponential consumption vs. diminishing supply. And we are consuming some vital resources at an accelerating rate.

Mining myths busted

However, this is an issue with multiple perspectives. While it's true that finite resources exist, the "running out" claim simplifies the situation. Here are some points to consider highlighting that this mining myth is busted:

  • Shallow reserves argument: Historically, mining focused on readily accessible, near-surface deposits. Technological advancements are opening up deeper and previously inaccessible resources.

  • Undiscovered deposits argument: Studies suggest vast undiscovered mineral deposits still exist, particularly in unexplored regions like Africa or “under deeper cover” in previously explored areas of the Earth. Advances in exploration technology are unlocking these resources (the #MineralFinderTechnology or #MFT product is one example).

  • Resource substitution and recycling argument: Research into alternative materials and the efficient recycling of existing resources (often described as the circular economy) can significantly reduce dependence on specific minerals.

The "running out" narrative is an oversimplification. While some specific commodities may face temporary supply constraints, advancements in exploration techniques, mining technology and process, and recycling allow us to tap into previously inaccessible or unconventional resources.

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