5 May 2009
Silver on special in a post peak world
During the next few decades we will encounter serious problems mining many important metal minerals at the desired extraction rates. Amongst them are all precious metals (gold, silver and platinum-group metals), zinc, tin, indium, zirconium, cadmium, tungsten, copper, manganese, nickel and molybdenum. A number of these metals are already in short supply (e.g. indium). Metals like gallium, germanium and scandium are not incorporated in table 1 by lack of data, but these metals suffer from a very low extraction rate as they are by-products (in very low concentrations) of other metal minerals; independent production growth is therefore not an option, thus making an increasing role for these elements impossible.