Conservation of Mineral Resources

In world of diminishing resources, it becomes essential that the mineral resources should be judiciously used by the present generation to ensure a resource base for future generations.

The strategies for resource conservation include:

1. Reclamation

Efforts should be made to reclaim various minerals as much as possible. This can be done by using latest technology. Remote sensing satellite has rendered a great help in identifying mineral resources.

2. Recycling

It means reuse of waste in a production process. For example,

(a) The waste papers, rags, used bottles, tins, plastic waste material can all be recycled to produce paper, newsprint, plastics glass wares, packing tin materials, etc. This process saves consumption of water and electricity considerably. Such steps can help to prolong the life of our depleted forest wealth.

(b) Post consumption recycling - scrap iron from old machinery, automobiles, industrial equipment which is added to the charge and becomes cast iron or steel which is then shaped into a new consumer product.

3. Substitution

Due to advancement of technology and new needs have lead to many changes in the use of minerals. Products of petrochemical industry have replaced traditional brass or clay jars. Plastics now compete with copper for uses such as piping and with steel in car bodies.

4. More efficient use

It also helps in consuming mineral resources for long. Today mineral resources are used more efficiently. For example, engineering and construction processes which make automobiles more energy efficient and aerodynamic.