Chapter 6

The Environmentand Social Costs

As Chapter 2 pointed out, the 1990s witnessed a shift in the debate over the long-run availability of mineral commodities. Fears that the environmental and other social costs incurred in the extraction, processing, and use of mineral commodities might severely constrain their future availability pushed aside the more traditional concerns about mineral depletion. Even if new technology allows the exploitation of poorer deposits without any significant increase in reported prices, it is argued that the environmental damage inflicted on society, along with the other social costs that the producer and consumer do not pay, may soon preclude the widespread use of mineral commodities.

Social costs cover all ...

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