Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Metal shortages alert from leading geologists: Inexorable demand for consumer goods places strain on supply of metals

Date:
October 12, 2011
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
Geologists are warning of shortages and bottlenecks of some metals due to an insatiable demand for consumer products.

Geologists are warning of shortages and bottlenecks of some metals due to an insatiable demand for consumer products.

A meeting of leading geologists, reported in the journal Nature Geoscience, highlights the dangers in the inexorable surge in demand for metals.

Dr. Gawen Jenkin, of the Department of Geology, University of Leicester, is the lead convenor of the Fermor Meeting of the Geological Society of London which met to discuss this issue.

Dr Jenkin said: "Mobile phones contain copper, nickel, silver and zinc, aluminium, gold, lead, manganese, palladium, platinum and tin. More than a billion people will buy a mobile in a year -- so that's quite a lot of metal. And then there's the neodymium in your laptop, the iron in your car, the aluminium in that soft drinks can -- the list goes on...

"With ever-greater use of these metals, are we running out? That was one of the questions we addressed at our meeting. It is reassuring that there's no immediate danger of 'peak metal' as there's quite a lot in the ground, still -- but there will be shortages and bottlenecks of some metals like indium due to increased demand.

"That means that exploration for metal commodities is now a key skill. It's never been a better time to become an economic geologist, working with a mining company. It's one of the better-kept secrets of employment in a recession-hit world.

"And a key factor in turning young people away from the large mining companies -- their reputation for environmental unfriendliness -- is being turned around as they make ever-greater efforts to integrate with local communities for their mutual benefit."

So, our appetite for technological goodies will be satisfied for some time to come still -- as long as sufficient people with the skills to seek out the metals emerge into the marketplace.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Editorial. Beyond mining. Nature Geoscience, 2011; 4: 653 DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1291

Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "Metal shortages alert from leading geologists: Inexorable demand for consumer goods places strain on supply of metals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012083617.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2011, October 12). Metal shortages alert from leading geologists: Inexorable demand for consumer goods places strain on supply of metals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012083617.htm
University of Leicester. "Metal shortages alert from leading geologists: Inexorable demand for consumer goods places strain on supply of metals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012083617.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) Hurricane Gonzalo pounded Bermuda with wind and heavy surf on Friday, bearing down on the tiny British territory as a powerful Category 3 storm that could raise coastal seas as much as 10 feet. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Researchers believe an extinct kangaroo species weighed 500 pounds or more and couldn't hop. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Powerful hurricane could hit Bermuda this weekend, and even if it misses it will likely do some damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) One of the largest volcanic eruptions in centuries is occurring on Iceland. The volcano Bardarbunga is producing high levels of sulfur dioxide. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins