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Category Archives: Minerals in Dangerous Places

Chi Chi Chi! Le Le Le! Los Mineros De Chile!

A brief personal reaction/stream of conciousness to the “Miracle in the Desert”… and the media, of course. We’ll be back to the rocks soon. I promise.

This post should probably be relegated to Rocks in the News. I (like the rest of the world) was so transfixed by the spectacle yesterday that I was barely able to focus on my work, much less my blog. (A head cold probably didn’t help my productivity). After my post almost two months ago about the trapped miners, I do feel like I need to say something to bring closure to it all.

I had trouble not crying when it was children standing waiting for their dads and brothers- they held back none of their emotions, and really summed up the emotions that everyone else was feeling too. It was a miracle, brought about (as so many miracles are) by luck, and fortitude, and engineering, and the human spirit.

Minerals in Dangerous Places: No Government, No Mines

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day- Arrrrgh! And what better day to finally put up another post? The word ‘Pirates’ brings to mind cutlass-wielding, bandanna-wearing, parrot-carrying, lovable scoundrels of gentlemen that look like Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom. And though piracy has made Disney millions of dollars in the film world, it is […]

Minerals in Dangerous Places: Wealth in a War Zone

This will be the first in a series highlighting areas rich in resources and danger.

Lately there has been a lot in the news about the recently re-discovered mineral wealth in Afghanistan. A lot of the coverage has looked at the potential de-stabilizing/stabilizing effects that so much natural wealth could bring. But while the focus has been on the money that they are potentially worth, what about the minerals themselves? Why do they matter to us? And can we get them elsewhere? A New York Times article, one of the first to break the story, mentioned five minerals that were dominant in the deposits worth an estimated $1 trillion dollars. Those minerals were Copper, Iron, Gold, Cobalt and Lithium. The reason for the high concentration of valuable minerals in the area is the land itself. The ridiculously high mountains of Afghanistan were formed by tectonic activity, with the most recent formation due to the continued pressing of the Indian subcontinent against the Eurasian plate. This area of high pressure is ideal for forming rich deposits of minerals.