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  1. #11
    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Hmm. As someone involved in the mining industry (as a professional adviser), pricing is often much more about restricting supply than it is lack of availability.

    So... finding billions in platinum that is minable probably won't make billions for the founder. Either, the platinum price will plummet, or it will be heavily restricted.

    One possibility will be finding things that genuinely are rare in the planet for which demand outstrips supply. Err, oil on asteroids, is there?
    One of the consideration I read on this was that, platinum would be the material of choice in alot of technology if it wasn't so damn rare. The price dropping would also increase demand for it in sectors that couldn't normally afford it.

    Companies are well aware that it would flood the market.

    The other side of it is they might start using it to build crafts and factories in space. Getting stuff into space is quite expensive
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by darlets View Post
    One of the consideration I read on this was that, platinum would be the material of choice in alot of technology if it wasn't so damn rare.
    Thanks for the work on space mining. I am doing a lot of research on that. I don't have a lot of free time right now but if you are looking for something rare on Earth that has tremendous implications for mankind... look up Helium 3 (HE3)

    I will pop in later to add more space mining stuff... like who currently owns the mineral rights to the Moon and other places... Also look up Harrison Schmitt in relation to HE3 mining on the Moon (former Apollo 17 Astronaut and geologist, CEO of Interlune-Intermars Initiative, Inc. a space mining company.

    I have a LOT of material on my website I will present when time allows (and also needs a little sorting as I just discovered)

    There is also one company that plans to mine old satellites... but I cannot remember the name... It was while I was looking for them that I found this forum.

    my email is standauffish@earthlink.net if anyone has any info to share or questions

    Thanks

    Z

  3. #13
    Senior Member NoahFence's Avatar
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    Yeah, the Indian "Chandrayaan-I" lunar expedition they just launched had sniffing He3 on the "to do" list. U-238, plain old water, and others are on the list also. But a lot of speculation suggests that a few tons of He3 could power the world, and could do so within 20 or 30 years. That's a lot more tasty than "cheap platinum"!
    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo

  4. #14
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Who cares about asteroid mining... when are we going to start terraforming?

  5. #15
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darlets View Post
    One of the consideration I read on this was that, platinum would be the material of choice in alot of technology if it wasn't so damn rare. The price dropping would also increase demand for it in sectors that couldn't normally afford it.

    Companies are well aware that it would flood the market.

    The other side of it is they might start using it to build crafts and factories in space. Getting stuff into space is quite expensive
    The problem is the incentive. If there is that much recoverable material, then the price would plummet - right now, 20 trillion sounds impressive, even if it costs 15 trillion to get it. But if you can assume that the price would would drop (according the amount we have used, 1/10th is not unreasonable), then the cost of going up to get it has to decrease in a similar way.

    That's not to say it won't happen - it's a good thing to have more material - but it won't happen for a while.

    There are also a lot of tangible problems. The throughput of material isn't dead-locked in the mining end, but also in the refining and distribution ends. We think of it as going directly back into more deep-space, but that's a very long ways away. Steel, for example, isn't something you can buy and just work with for the average person. It won't be a quick and easy transition to integrate rampant production at the commercial level. That means industrial level specialty plants. So you get a feedback loop going. You need the automation/labour to support huge (as in order of magnitudes) projects, and the industry to support that, and the infrastructure/technology to do it...

    And that's on top of most of the issues on getting out there, sending it back here (to answer an earlier question, it won't be a problem getting it back, most likely. Once something starts moving in space, it'll keep moving. It's the stopping that might be trickier - getting an orbit or something like that.) Then it has to be broken down and sent down to earth - a feat equal to mining on the ground, at the very least. It would turn into deep space mining and controlled orbital bombardment, probably, given the cost of getting shuttles back up.

    None of this is to put a damper on it. I think this is the future outcome (as I mentioned above, it's the scale of the projects that need to go up, in such a way that it becomes self sustaining on that scale)... but it's a long ways away yet.

    I'm way more interested in Moon prospecting. That would be, IMO, the first project. And then you can run the asteroids, slowly hopefully, into the moon for expansion. A small seed colony could move really really fast, in terms of expansion, under those circumstances. And the low-G would aid in producing large-scale vessels that would never be meant to enter atmosphere, dramatically changing the materials that could be used.

  6. #16
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Who cares about asteroid mining... when are we going to start terraforming?
    When we're good enough to take care of our own planet. It's also a good idea to fully understand the environment of the target planet before initiating something that could fuck it up more than it would help us.
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  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by runvardh View Post
    When we're good enough to take care of our own planet. It's also a good idea to fully understand the environment of the target planet before initiating something that could fuck it up more than it would help us.
    Planet smanet. TERRAFORM!!!!
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  8. #18
    Member Fife's Avatar
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    I agree with ptgatsby that the operating side of things will affect the viability of the venture. I guess that the capital versus potential risk etc. will play a big part in convincing investors/governments/etc. to help start off the venture (and therefore how soon it becomes a reality). (Sorry, probably obvious, but I'm an economics noob.)

    I found this article on Platinum which may be relevent: Further reading - New Scientist

    How long would it take to mine one asteroid? Are mining operations on Earth substrate specific? (The processing of the ore, not the initial mining procedure). If enough of a density difference exists between different materials within the ore, basic operations (e.g. crushers, centrifuge..) may be satisfactory. Composition and distribution of materials may vary between different asteroids, so there may be need for process modifications. I guess that big changes aren't likely, but just a thought.

    The way different minerals are locked up might have an effect as well. For example, Aluminium removal from Bauxite using electrolytic smelting. This sort of facility may need to be available at the processing facilities, and maintained, but may not be in use. Do any of you know what rock formations are present on asteroids? Are they similar to Earths? Scoping could be a viable option instead.

    Just thinking out loud here.. *tiptoes out*

  9. #19
    Member Fife's Avatar
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    #Gets out some potplants and a spacecraft from shed#

  10. #20
    Senior Member Gauche's Avatar
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    Well there's interesting concept of mining from distant planets and asteroids in recent game Dead Space. There are big mining ships - planet crackers - which crack a really big piece of planet by help of stations on planet and then by some gravity beams take them up to ship which is on orbit (and that cracked piece is muuuch bigger than ship itself), and then just take this piece to Earth to take minerals from it there. Well it would be nice idea, only if (like in such video games) hostile alien life form wouldnt have taken over our planet cracker ship and kill everybody and transform dead crew's bodies into themselves - mutant necromorph nasty zombie things.

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