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Category Archives: Natural Resources

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 […]

The Dark Dreary Mine

Come and listen you fellows,

so young and so fine,

And seek not your fortune in the dark, dreary mines.

It will form as a habit and seep in your soul,

‘Till the stream of your blood is as black as the coal.
~”Dark as a Dungeon” by Merle Travis. First performed 1946
Merle Travis wrote that song in the 1940’s, lamenting the fate of the miners in the West Virginia coal mines. It has since been performed by groups of all different kinds, from Johnny Cash to the Chieftains. With the ongoing events in Chile, a new focus has come onto mining, and the line “Dark as a Dungeon” seems more apt than ever.

Since the collapse of the San Jose copper and Gold mine on August 5, 33 miners have been trapped in an area that the New York Times described as the size of a “small apartment”, 2,300 feet underground. They survived for 17 days without any contact from the outside world, until they were located last week. Their families have been encamped outside the mine for weeks, and will likely remain there for many more, as it has been estimated that it could take up to three months to drill down and rescue them.

Updates!

RESOURCES- The latest issue of Scientific American has a fantastic article about the limits of the earth’s resources. While the accuracy of broad estimates can always be questioned, no one can predict the future with 100% accuracy, this interactive article does a reasonable job of estimating the resources left in the the world, especially the estimates involving water, minerals, and oil. Two of the minerals that he mentions we’ve already spoken about; lithium and gold.

Watch and Download Full Movie A Cure for Wellness (2017)

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.