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Afganistan And Rare Earths

Author

Listed:
  • Emilian M. Dobrescu

    () (Sociology-Psihology Faculty, Spiru Haret University, Bucharest, Romania)

  • Edith Mihaela Dobre

    () (Sociology-Psihology Faculty, Spiru Haret University, Bucharest, Romania)

Abstract

On our planet, over a quarter of new technologies for the economic production of industrial goods, are using rare earths, which are also called critical minerals and industries that rely on these precious items being worth of an estimated nearly five trillion dollars, or 5 percent of world gross domestic product. In the near future, competition will increase for the control of rare earth minerals embedded in high-tech products. Rare minerals are in the twenty-first century what oil accounted for in the twentieth century and coal in the nineteenth century: the engine of a new industrial revolution. Future energy will be produced increasingly by more sophisticated technological equipment based not just on steel and concrete, but incorporating significant quantities of metals and rare earths. Widespread application of these technologies will result in an exponential increase in demand for such minerals, and what is worrying is that minerals of this type are almost nowhere to be found in Europe and in other industrialized countries in the world, such as U.S. and Japan, but only in some Asian countries, like China and Afghanistan.

Suggested Citation

  • Emilian M. Dobrescu & Edith Mihaela Dobre, 2013. "Afganistan And Rare Earths," Global Economic Observer, "Nicolae Titulescu" University of Bucharest, Faculty of Economic Sciences;Institute for World Economy of the Romanian Academy, vol. 1(1), pages 52-56, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ntu:ntugeo:vol1-iss1-13-052
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    File URL: http://www.globeco.ro/wp-content/uploads/vol/split/vol_1_no_1/geo_2013_vol1_art_006.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    rare earths; minerals; reserves; assessment; industrial products; shortage; supply;

    JEL classification:

    • L61 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Metals and Metal Products; Cement; Glass; Ceramics
    • L72 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Other Nonrenewable Resources
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation

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