ON SOME TRENDS IN MINERAL RESOURCE EXTRACTION AFTER 2000
The world raw material market has undergone a great change in the recent years. One of the essential reasons is the rapid economic growth of many former developing countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, etc. These countries were historically and typically producers and exporters of many raw materials but now they also consume or even import them, because the consumption of all raw materials is increasing rapidly in these young, densely populated and rapidly developing countries. In relation to this trend, the nominal prices of various commodities have reached wholly new levels. In the 1970s - and mainly in the 1980s and 1990s - many Western European countries adopted as a main motto of their national resource strategies something like, "We do not really need national mining of natural resources, we are not to destroy our environment; the absolute majority of required resources will be brought from non-European territories.' But the name of the problem is not "mining production' but "consumption', which is still increasing in the developed countries, too. The result of these mistaken strategies was that the raw materials are mined in Third World countries with much more serious environmental impacts compared to Europe. A rightful question comes to mind: Do European countries need different resource politics in the 21st century?
natural resources, raw materials, prices of raw materials
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