World Mineral Supplies

Archive Report

Anxiety Over Availability and Price

Problem of Growing U.S. Dependence on Imports

Warnings about the depletion of minerals have been heard for centuries. But there was little public awareness until the Arab oil-exporting states imposed their embargo in 1973. Though the embargo has long since been lifted,1 it left America with a fuller realization of its dependency upon foreign sources for many essential mineral needs. Indeed, all nations need minerals and no nation is self-sufficient in them all. Out of this realization has arisen fear in the industrial West that embargoes, exorbitant costs, scarcities and eventual depletion of minerals will wreak havoc in the international order.

Some see the current minerals problem as a struggle between the industrialized nations, located primarily in the northern hemisphere, and the ...

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