Mining for metals in society's waste

The Conversation
By: , and 



Metals are crucial to society and enable our modern standard of living. Look around and you can't help but see products made of metals. For instance, a typical gasoline-powered automobile contains over a ton of iron and steel, 240 pounds of aluminum, 42 pounds of copper, 41 pounds of silicon, 22 pounds of zinc and more than 30 other mineral commodities including titanium, platinum and gold.

Metals and minerals are natural resources that human beings have been mining for thousands of years. Contemporary metal mining is dominated by iron ore, copper and gold, with 2 billion tons of iron ore, nearly 20 million tons of copper and 2,000 tons of gold produced every year. Tens to hundreds of tons of other metals that are essential components for electronics, green energy production, and high-technology products are produced annually.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Mining for metals in society's waste
Series title The Conversation
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher The Conversation US
Publisher location Boston, MA
Contributing office(s) Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center
Description 5 p.
First page 1
Last page 5
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details