The bitter competition among Asia’s largest economies, which
collectively are nearly twice as large as that of the USA,
for natural resources is now the principal driver of demand
for all natural resources. – Jack Lifton
The principal driver for change that I see in the overall supply picture for technology metals and materials as a result of the end of, and the slow reversal of, globalization is the realization by intelligent people of the need for capitalization of the security of their supply by individual nations.
This I believe will re-start many projects that were deemed uneconomical without the added value of security of supply, and it will make the conservation by recycling of critical materials not only nice but necessary.
The capital may well come from subsidies, both governmental and through apparent “premium” pricing used to enforce industrial policies such as already is in operation in China, Japan, and Korea; and even in the USA as governmental grants officially said to support innovation or the environment, since direct subsidies for critical materials would go against Washington’s neoliberal narrative (also in its death throes along with globalization-its baby).
You can chose your own prime mover for this: It can be the political need to create domestic manufacturing jobs or the geo-political need for resource security either to insure those jobs or to become independent of the influence of other nations on your own nation’s economy and military preparedness.
The bitter competition among Asia’s largest economies, which collectively are nearly twice as large as that of the USA, for natural resources is now the principal driver of demand for all natural resources.
As for the infrastructure metals, so aptly named by my colleague, Christopher Ecclestone, the USA and Canada are uniquely insulated from global iron, aluminum, copper, zinc, and lead prices, to name the most useful, by not only the domestic presence of existing producing mines, reserve formerly producing mines, currently on care and maintenance, and known mineable deposits, but also by the world’s most well developed recycling industry.
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