Typically, the future availability of minerals is based on the concept of reserves and resources. Reserves are deposits that have been discovered, evaluated and assessed to be economically profitable. Resources are far bigger and include reserves, discovered deposits which are potentially profitable, and undiscovered deposits that are predicted based on preliminary geological surveys.
According to the latest science of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), copper reserves amount to 680 million tonnes (USGS, 2013) and copper resources are currently estimated to exceed 3,000 million tonnes (USGS, 2013). The latter does not take into account the vast amounts of copper deposits found in deep sea nodules and submarine massive sulfides.
This resource explores the long-term availability of copper in terms of known reserves, copper production and recycling.
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Long Term Availability of Copper.zip
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