Tag Archives: mining

What are rare earth metals and how are they used?

Preface.  After oil, the main feature of new products will be drastic simplification. The re-use of existing stuff. Lack of precision machine tools as they rust away. Back to basics: wood, iron, and clay. Yet every high-tech object depends on … Continue reading

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Renewables: not enough minerals, energy, time or clean and green

Preface. Electricity generating contraptions like wind and solar can’t replace the 50% of oil used in global manufacturing, because they can’t generate the high heat needed, or run battery or catenary electric trucks as I explained in “When Trucks Top … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Battery - Utility Scale, Elements: Critical, Elements: Platinum Group, Elements: Rare Earth, Peak Resources, Recycle, Solar, Wind | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Ugo Bardi’s The Universal Mining Machine

Preface. Below I’ve excerpted some of Ugo Bardi’s “The Universal Mining Machine” (24 January 2008 europe.theoildrum), but I’ve left a great deal out of this excellent article, I encourage you to read all of it if you have time. The … Continue reading

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Foreign Policy: The limits of clean energy

Preface. This article appeared in the magazine Foreign Policy. Some of the points made are: Renewables to power the world would require 34 million metric tons of copper, 40 million tons of lead, 50 million tons of zinc, 162 million … Continue reading

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Going 100% renewable power means a lot of dirty mining

Preface. Everyone talks about oil spills, but what about the dirty mining that will have a huge polluting footprint on the earth, and potentially destroy the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery among other side-effects? Renewables aren’t cleaner and greener than … Continue reading

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Mining: Waste, Pollution, Destruction from Ugo Bardi’s “Extracted”

Preface. I’ve reworded/shortened some of the wording at times from this excellent book. Here are 7 other posts from this great book: Mining: Waste, Pollution, Destruction Ugo Bardi predictions of the future Minerals and War Minerals: Natural gas Minerals: Coal … Continue reading

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Minerals & Energy from Ugo Bardi’s “Extracted”

Preface. This is a small section of Ugo Bardi’s excellent book “Extracted”. His most important observation is that: “The limits to mineral extraction are not limits of quantity; they are limits of energy. Extracting minerals takes energy, and the more … Continue reading

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Tackling mine wastes

Hudson-Edwards, K. April 15, 2016. Tackling mine wastes. Science (352):288-290   Excerpts: Mine wastes are unwanted and uneconomic materials (including rock, sediment, tailings, metallurgical wastes, dusts, ash, and processing chemicals) that are found at or near mine sites in virtually every … Continue reading

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550,000 abandoned mines, $50 billion to clean up the worst of them

[ Abandoned mines can cause soil erosion, heavy metal contamination (i.e., cyanide, lead, arsenic, mercury, uranium), and acid drainage that threatens thousands of streams and rivers. The EPA estimates it would cost $50 billion to reclaim abandoned and inactive mine … Continue reading

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Corrosion eats $552 billion of infrastructure a year (6% of GDP)

Preface. United States infrastructure was built when the EROI of oil was very high and minerals and metals were cheap due to high ore concentrations. This study was done in 2002, since then, things have gotten much worse (see ASCE … Continue reading

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