Nonrenwable mineral and energy resources

General Mining Law of 1872 NEGATIVES
-buy land for very very low prices (inflation not accounted for)
-no royalties needed for hardrock mining
-no requiring environmental cleanup
General Mining Law of 1872 POSITIVES
+high paying jobs
+vital resources
+stimulate economies
identified resources
deposits of a nonrenewable mineral resource with known location, quantity, quality
Undiscovered resources
potential supplies of a nonrenewable mineral resource assumed to exist base on theory
identified resources from which a usable nonrenewable mineral can be extracted profitably
ore formation
-hydrothermal ore deposits
-black smokers
-manganese nodules
hydrothermal ore deposits
-divergent and convergent boundaries yield magma; sea water hits magma and become super heated and dissolves metals from rock or maga, cooling down to form ores
black smokers
mini volcanoes that shoot jets of hot, black, mineral rich water through vents in solidified magma on the seafloor;
Hot water hits cold sea water, and metal sulfides precipitate out and accumulate
manganese nodules
small rocks containing 30-40% manganese by weight and small amounts of iron, copper, and nickel
sedimentary sorting
sediments settle out on basis of density when the stream current settles down
placer deposits
fairly rich deposits of particles accumulated over time through sedimentary sorting
evaporite mineral deposits
mineral-containing groundwater flow into lakes with no outlets; water evaporates, leaving precipitates that accumulate over time
residual deposits
weathering by water dissolve and remove soluble metals, leaving ions of insoluble compounds behind
How are buried mineral deposits found? (6)
-radiation measuring
-deep well core samples
-seismic surveys
-chemical analysis
Which type of mining is worse for environment?
surface mining
soil and rock that’s not what you’re mining
overburden discarded as waste
chain buckets and draglines scraped along underwater floor
Area strip mining
-fairly flat terrain, strip cut and mineral dug out
-fill with overburden, new cut made parallel and repeat
-spoil banks
Spoil banks
highly erodible hills of rubble
Contour strip mining
used on hilly or mountainous terrain
-terraces cut, overburden removed, resource extracted, overburden dumped on one below
highly erodible bank of soil and rock on a slope
Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977
Requires mining companies to restore most surface mined land
Subsurface mining
remove coal and ores too deep; disturbs much less land, less waste material — BUT hazardous for human workers
waste material from ore extracted
piles of waste gangue, which can leach
Economic depletion
when a mineral becomes more expensive to find, extract, transport, and process than it’s worth
depletion time
time it takes to use up certain proportion (80%) of reserves of a given mineral
reserve-to-production ratio
number of years that proven reserves of nonrenewable will last at current annual production rates
United States, Germany, and Russia
with only 8% of world’s population, consume 75% of world’s most widely used metals
Sagebrush Rebellion and anti-environmental Wise-Use movement
Extractors want Congress to open up valuable preserved land for mining
materials revolution
silicon and new materials, incl ceramics and plastics
percent energy use in world from nonrenewable resources
percent energy used in US from nonrenewable
net energy
amount of usable high-quality energy available from a given quantity of an energy resource
raw materials in many products
leftove from oil shade
shale oil
thick, distilled from oil shale by heating it in a large container
tar sand
mixture of clay, sand, water, and bitumen
mostly too deep underground to be economic to use; high-sulfur
dirtiest, but also most abundant fossil fuel
Date in US since last nuclear powerplant built
breeder nuclear fission reactors
generate more nuclear fuel than consumed by cnverting nonfissionable uranium 238 to plutonium 239