Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: how much mineral resources left in the world ? ( No Answer,   2 Comments )
Subject: how much mineral resources left in the world ?
Category: Reference, Education and News > Teaching and Research
Asked by: fatguy-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 03 May 2006 08:33 PDT
Expires: 07 May 2006 12:45 PDT
Question ID: 725093
how much of the Iron, Steel, Cobalt, Nickel,Copper, Zinc, Tin, Lead,
Aluminum, Titanium, Manganese, Magnesium, Mercury, Vanadium,
Molybdenum, Tungsten, Silver, Gold, Platinum and glass is left in the
world if we keep have new building, new bridge etc...  would we ever
run out of it?  i just need a pretty general answer.
thank you very much!!!

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 03 May 2006 11:01 PDT
Very interesting question.

Everything on your list except glass is a metal, and metals never
really get used up!

What I mean by that is, if you burn a gallon of oil, the oil is gone. 
But if you put a pound of steel into a car, the steel stays with the
car until the car goes to the junkyard.  At that point, the steel can
be recycled and reused, if so desired (in fact, steel is the most
widely recycled material in commerce).

Ditto with all other metals.

So, top of the head, I would say there's no real danger of these
things running out, since we can always reuse the standing stock.

For the present, it's often cheaper to mine new metals than to reuse
existing metals, but if the economics should change, then reuse will
start to pay for itself.

Glass is made out of sand, one of the most abundant materials on the
planet.  Do you really think we'll run out of sand anytime soon?

What other sort of information are you looking for on this topic?  Let
me know, and I'll see if I can get you a formal answer.



Clarification of Question by fatguy-ga on 03 May 2006 11:32 PDT
you pretty much answer all my question. you said we can reuse all the
metal but what about battery, they consist of many different type of
metal but we really never reuse them because we just throw them out
the trash.  since oil will be used up, so will be plastic, right??
because plastic we use is the byproduct from oil...anyway... thank you
very much for you help!!!!

Clarification of Question by fatguy-ga on 03 May 2006 11:36 PDT
one more thing, so much of the metal is to use for building and
bridges..we will always have enough to build everything that we want?
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: how much mineral resources left in the world ?
From: fstokens-ga on 03 May 2006 11:16 PDT
Metals aren't "used up" in the same way that oil is, but if you build
a bridge out of iron, you can't use that iron for anything else
without tearing the bridge down.

Another factor is that metals must be fairly concentrated to make it
worthwhile to mine them.  Any random dirt sample will contain trace
amounts of nearly all the elements, and huge amounts are dissolved in
seawater, but these are not economic sources of metals because the
concentrations are so low.
Subject: Re: how much mineral resources left in the world ?
From: fatguy-ga on 03 May 2006 11:34 PDT
thanks for you help. now i dont have to search google for few hours
everyday trying to find out the answer..haha

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy