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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 04:17 PM
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Just as lead acid batteries gave way to lithium-ion batteries and pex tubing (partially) replaced copper piping, new technology will provide alternative resources to meet our needs. In 1920 the U.S. Geological Survey predicted that at the then current rate of discoveries and consumption the United States would run out of oil by 1938. But soon the Congress reacted, and by percentage depletion a favorable climate was created for more risks, more discoveries, more production to meet the urgent needs of the people and of industry. I suspect the same will be true for the production and powering of electric vehicles.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 04:20 PM
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Well sure. I don't think that's news to people here. I've heard (rumor) that child labor is being used for some of these mining efforts too. So we'll just look at our feet and shuffle a bit when challenged.

But it's all a start towards not burning fossil fuels. We know we're in transition. Until networks of hydrogen are supplied everywhere electricity is, it's the next best thing. I haven't looked at how much energy and natural resources it takes to go hydrogen though either.


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 05:17 PM
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I don't expect that we'll be using Co or Li, etc by 2050. The battery manufacturers will have developed a new and more efficient material set by then. Or maybe Elon will start mining on mars....
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 06:27 PM
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We never run out of materials; pricing simply reflects supply vs demand. If something becomes too rare and expensive, we usually find alternatives, or find ways to use materials more efficiently.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 06:42 PM
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Finding and producing raw materials is not a problem. Despite the name "rare earth" they are not actually as rare as the title implies, consumption has historically just been too low to require even middle priced mining of them. Just as redpoint5 says, its supply and demand pricing. With enough financial incentive the materials will be found and processed. I spent 11 years as a copper geologist, now I'm a lithium geologist working on bringing a mine online that on its own would be a 1/4 or todays production, but likely will be around an 1/8th of the worlds production of lithium when it gets going full tilt (up and running in 2-3 years, another year or 3 to hit full tilt). Any comodity just needs enough demand pricing.

Also, there are alternative to rare earth magnets for electric motors, just a little less efficient.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 121 Kw View Post
Finding and producing raw materials is not a problem. Despite the name "rare earth" they are not actually as rare as the title implies, consumption has historically just been too low to require even middle priced mining of them. Just as redpoint5 says, its supply and demand pricing. With enough financial incentive the materials will be found and processed. I spent 11 years as a copper geologist, now I'm a lithium geologist working on bringing a mine online that on its own would be a 1/4 or todays production, but likely will be around an 1/8th of the worlds production of lithium when it gets going full tilt (up and running in 2-3 years, another year or 3 to hit full tilt). Any comodity just needs enough demand pricing.

Also, there are alternative to rare earth magnets for electric motors, just a little less efficient.
Sounds like a problem:

Saving the Planet With Electric Cars Means Strangling This Desert https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...ng-this-desert
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 10:30 AM
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That is one location of many many many possible places. Personally, I think brine resources are a waste of water, particularly in the desert. The last company I worked for(KGHM) has a copper operation in Chile that constructed a pipeline to the ocean and ran a de-salination plant to use sea water for copper production rather than pump the desert.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 10:48 AM
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That is one location of many many many possible places. Personally, I think brine resources are a waste of water, particularly in the desert. The last company I worked for(KGHM) has a copper operation in Chile that constructed a pipeline to the ocean and ran a de-salination plant to use sea water for copper production rather than pump the desert.
There are always trade-offs. How much electricity is required to desalinate and pump that sea water up to the high desert?
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 11:44 AM
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A lot less than the trade off cost of purchasing additional water rights and drilling very deep wells in an already over allocated water basin. Or financially worse, stopping production from lack of water.
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