Future of mineral supplies

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Future of mineral supplies

Increased exploration

  • some sites that are likely to have large mineral deposits have not been thoroughly explored
  • these are often in areas that would be expensive to exploit or are protected so mining is banned e.g. Antartica, Greenland, Alaska and deep ocean floor
  • the Arctica National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is protected from mineral exploitation
  • commerical mineral exploitation is banned in Antarctica by Antarctic treaty 
  • the right to exploit mineral deposits such as manganese nodules on deep ocean floor in international waters has not been fully established so few companies are willing to invest in expensive new technologies to exploit them

Better exploratory techniques

Remote sensing


  • this includes any technique that collects information to help about mineral deposit without actually being in contact with it
  • satellite and serial surveys allow large areas to be surveyed quickly to provide information on topgrpahy, rivers and surface geological features
  • colour and infrared emmision may also indicate the possible mineral content of surface rocks 

Gravimetry

  • strength of gravity provides information on density of rocks 
  • igneous rocks are usually more dense than sedimentary rocks

Magnetometry

  • strength of magnetism helps to detect magnetic rocks e.g. iron ores

seismic surveys

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