Sunday, June 17, 2007


GFV posted a comment on my Warnings from the Future post, quoting the U.S. Geological Survey on the discovery of new zinc reserves.

I Googled zinc reserves and found that there is a severe current shortage of zinc, due to increased demand worldwide; but the earth's crust seems to have a lot of zinc. (The USGS says it's the 23rd most common mineral in the crust.) The problem is, how accessible is it and how expensive to mine. Obviously, if there is a shortage of zinc, the price will rise and that will make more expensive mining profitable.

Enragingly, I can't find the sites I found yesterday. But I did find the USGS Minerals Yearbook, which is useful.

I was kind of hoping that mineral shortages would force us into space. But recycling and finding substitutes is probably more practical.

As GFV pointed out, there is increased zinc -- and other metal -- recycling.

What can I say? New Scientist may have been a tad bit hysterical about an impending lack of zinc.

One of the sites I found yesterday and can't find today was for a company that is (the site says) developing the largest unexploited zinc reserve in the world -- which is in Iran (the site says).

I found a site today that listed minerals in Afghanistan. There are a lot, apparently, due to the Indian subcontinent crashing into Asia. That mixed sea floor and continental deposits and put the mixture under a lot of heat and pressure, producing -- among other things -- a lot of extraordinary gemstones, and pushed much of this stuff up where we can get to it. Interesting.

I guess the moral is, I need to take some of what New Scientist says with a grain of salt. Fortunately, there is no shortage of salt.


Blogger Therem said...

Hi, Eleanor. I have no insightful comments to post about zinc or other substances in the earth's crust, but I do have something to tell you about web browsers: every site you visit is saved in your history, so if you can't remember where you saw some information, you can look back through the log to find it. In Firefox, you can get to this log by clicking the "History" menu and choosing "Show in Sidebar" to see it all grouped by day. In Internet Explorer 6, you can click the "View" menu, then choose "Explorer Bar" and "History".

I hope this helps the pursuit of zinc studies...

7:48 PM  

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