GEOG 216 Lecture Notes - Bauxite

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23 Nov 2012
The Nature of Resources II
Renewable vs. Non-renewable
- Renewable through human action, s/times on their own
- Non-renewable part of geological cycles
- Can regard these as a fixed commodity w/in certain limits
- Uneven produc + consumption reflects naturally uneven distrib worldwide
- Phys processes initial formation of mineral concentrations
- Don’t know where the high quality is until we exploit it
- Major producers of iron ore: China, Brazil Australia
- Major producers of bauxite: Australia, Guinea, Jamaica
- Proven/Known Reserve: resource of potential use +/profit that can be extracted under prevailing condits
Ex: price, technologies, legal, environmental
- Conditional Reserve: discovered but sub/uneconomic due to current prices + techs
- Actual Resource: available under current, econ, technological, institutional, socio-cultural condits
Mineral Resources
- Trends:
- More ppl more consumption
- Average quantity consumed is increasing steadily partic in NICs
- Economic scarcity only partially determines availability + price
Influences on Price
- Market supply + demand
- Monopoly/oligopoly
- Subsidies, taxes, regulations
- ‘Fear’ premium (speculators)
- Political strife/natural hazards
- Conservation measures (ex: recycling)
- Substitutes (ex: transmaterialization)
- Shift in composition of output (to services)
Minerals: Social Impacts
- Strong mineral sector can cause distortions in the rest of the econ
- Ex: current strength of $CDN has negative impacts on manufacturing sector (closures, job losses)
- In least indus nats, sector generates internal wealth for the elite
- Elite pressures gov to over-value exchange rates for impors of capital + foreign luxuries
- General decline in rest of econ (ex: agricul + nascent indus have export prices on gl/markets)
Minerals: Environmental Impacts
- Exploitation deeply scours earth’s surface + creates waste ‘tailing’ resources
- Processing:
- Pollutes +/ contaminates air + water sys, creates maj garbage + toxic waste sites
- Alters weather + climate
- Distrib may cause spills
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