Sunday, January 17, 2010
Resource and Energy Production Peaks
Investment gurus are starting to see the handwriting on the wall regarding the coming (or already here) peaks in production of energy and minerals, which are needed to keep industrial civilization running. A number of minerals have already peaked or are approaching peak extraction rates. In this article an investment expert gives his view on the constraints caused by the inability to keep up with demand. To his credit, he sees the interconnectedness of all these mineral and energy resources, noting that a decline in one affects the others. While energy resources have been in the spotlight for some time, the world public seems to have little awareness of mineral peaks. One class of minerals that has gotten plenty of attention lately is the rare earth elements, and one can now find much information on their importance to technological applications, and China’s virtual monopoly on them. Just as China and Japan are still sparring over marine gas fields, the discussions over the supply of rare earths will become acrimonious as users around the globe feel the pinch.