Environmental Science (MindTap Cou...

15th Edition
G. Tyler Miller + 1 other
ISBN: 9781305090446



Environmental Science (MindTap Cou...

15th Edition
G. Tyler Miller + 1 other
ISBN: 9781305090446
Textbook Problem

What five nations supply most of the world’s nonrenewable mineral resources? How dependent is the United States on other countries for important nonrenewable mineral resources? Explain the concern over U.S. access to rare earth mineral resources. Describe the conventional view of the relationship between the supply of a mineral resource and its market price. Explain why some economists believe this relationship no longer applies.

To determine

The countries that are the major source of the world’s nonrenewable mineral resources. The way the United States is dependent on other nations for important nonrenewable resources. The concern over the access of United States to rare mineral resources. The view of the relationship between mineral resources supply and its market price, and the reason that economists state that the relationship no longer supplies.


The United States, Canada, Russia, South Africa, and Australia supply most of the nonrenewable mineral resources utilized by modern societies. At present, the United States imports all of its supplies of twenty key nonrenewable mineral resources and more than 90% of its supplies of four other key minerals. Most of the nonrenewable mineral resources are imported from reliable and politically stable countries.

The only rare earth mine in the United States is located in California. It is used to be the world’s largest supplier of rare earth metals. However, it closed down due to the expense of meeting pollution regulations, and because China had driven the prices of rare earth metals down to a point where the mine was too costly to operate. The mine in California has reopened, but it contains mostly lighter rare earth metals that are more abundant.

An increase in the market price of scarce mineral resource can often lead to increased supplies and can encourage more efficient use of the resources...

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