Environmental Science Study Set 5

Environmental Science

Quiz 12 :

Geology and Nonrenewable Minerals

Quiz 12 :

Geology and Nonrenewable Minerals

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State the conventional view of the relationship between the supply of a mineral resource and its market price. Discuss the pros and cons of the U.S. General Mining Law of 1872.
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The Conventional view of supply and market price of mineral resources says that when supply is more and demands are less, then the mineral resource price increases. When the resource has less availability then the price increases. It's according to the demand and supply method of economics.
Pros and cons of the US General Mining Law of 1872: this law was designed to encourage mining of minerals such gold, silver, copper and uranium on public lands. Pros of the laws are:
1 Any person could file a mining claim of a land on all public land, the claimant have bear the cost of mining and pay government some fixed amount out of it.
2 Federal government would earn huge sums from it.
3 After mining, the land could be leased for commercial purposes or to build hotels, lounges, golf courses etc.
4 Private companies earn mining revenues as well as the land.
The cons associated with the law are:
1. Mining companies have left behind a toxic mess on the land, after declaring themselves bankrupt and didn't clean up the mess created.
2. Environmental controls were not strict enough to protect environment to get polluted.

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Uranium (U) is a mineral resource obtained from uranium ore in various types of rock at different concentrations. It is used as a fuel in the reactors of nuclear power plants. A high-grade ore has 2% U and a low-grade ore has 0.1 % U. The estimated worldwide recoverable resources of uranium weigh 4,743,000 metric tons. The United States has about 7% of the world's uranium resources, which amounts to about 332,000 metric tons. Assume U.S. usage is about 25% of world usage. If the United States were to rely only on its domestic uranium resources, how long would they last, assuming a 100% recovery rate (meaning that 100% of the resource can be used)
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If the US relies on its domestic uranium resources, assuming a 100% recovery rate, the resources will last forever because they can be recovered again and again and reused. World resources are much more in amounts than resources in US alone, but the usage may vary according to the needs of industries in US, it consume more amounts than other countries to prepare goods and fulfill the demands of other countries for the products. It helps in booming its economics and market sector.

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What are the two key concepts for this section What five nations supply most of the world's nonrenewable mineral resources How dependent is the United States on other countries for important nonrenewable mineral resources Explain why rare earth minerals are so important to countries such as China, Japan, and the United States.
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Key concept : this section talks about the nonrenewable resources and the time limit they have as their life span. They cannot be regenerated again by man and needs to be used carefully.
Five nations which supply most of the nonrenewable minerals are the United States, Canada, Russia, South Africa, and Australia.
US dependency on others for nonrenewable mineral resources: The U.S. imports metals resources from other countries, the resources are the manganese, cobalt, chromium, and platinum as they are essential for The US military and economic strength but itself the US does not have reserve of these resources and thus depends on imports from other countries.
Importance of earth minerals for china, Japan, and the US: the earth minerals are used in the military, electronics, rocket engines etc. one of the important mineral is tungsten. US geological survey says that the China has 57 % of tungsten used in world, Canada has 12% and the US has only 4%. Thus US has to import the tungsten for its usage.

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Use the second law of thermodynamics (see Chapter 2, p. 36) to analyze the scientific and economic feasibility of each of the following processes: a. extracting most of the minerals that are dissolved in seawater b. mining increasingly lower-grade deposits of minerals c. using inexhaustible solar energy to mine minerals d. continuing to mine, use, and recycle minerals at increasing rates, using conventional methods
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Explain why access to affordable supplies of the chemical element lithium (Li) is so important environmentally and economically to the United States. Explain the importance of rare earth metals and discuss access to these metals by the United States, Japan, and European nations.
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What is the key concept for this section Define mineral, rock, sedimentary rock, igneous rock, and metamorphic rock and give an example of each. Describe the nature and importance of the rock cycle.
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Congratulations! You are in charge of the world. What are the three most important features of your policy for developing and sustaining the world's nonrenewable mineral resources
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Uranium (U) is a mineral resource obtained from uranium ore in various types of rock at different concentrations. It is used as a fuel in the reactors of nuclear power plants. A high-grade ore has 2% U and a low-grade ore has 0.1 % U. The estimated worldwide recoverable resources of uranium weigh 4,743,000 metric tons. The United States has about 7% of the world's uranium resources, which amounts to about 332,000 metric tons. Given that current worldwide usage of uranium is about 66,500 metric tons per year, how long will the world's present recoverable uranium resources last
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You are an igneous rock. Write a report on what study you experience as you move through the rock cycle (Figure 12-10). Repeat this exercise, assuming you are a sedimentary rock, and again assuming you are a metamorphic rock.
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What is the key concept for this section Define mineral resource and list two major types of such resources. Define ore and distinguish between a high-grade ore and a low-grade ore. What are reserves Explain the importance of lithium. Summarize the life cycle of a metal resource. Describe three major harmful environmental effects of extracting, processing, and using nonrenewable mineral resources.
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Uranium (U) is a mineral resource obtained from uranium ore in various types of rock at different concentrations. It is used as a fuel in the reactors of nuclear power plants. A high-grade ore has 2% U and a low-grade ore has 0.1 % U. The estimated worldwide recoverable resources of uranium weigh 4,743,000 metric tons. The United States has about 7% of the world's uranium resources, which amounts to about 332,000 metric tons. Assume that most U.S. ore deposits contain high-grade ore (2% U) and that the recovery rates of uranium from the ore (accounting for losses in mining, extraction, and refining) average 65%. How many metric tons of ore will have to be mined to meet U.S. needs
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What is the key concept for this section Define geology, core, mantle, crust, asthenosphere , and lithosphere. Define tectonic plates. What typically happens when tectonic plates collide, move apart, or slide by one another Define volcano and describe the nature and major effects of a volcanic eruption. Define earthquake and describe its nature and major effects. What is a tsunami and what are its major effects Explain how coral reefs and mangrove forests can help to protect against tsunamis.
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Do research to determine what materials each of the following items is made of and how much of those materials are required to make each item: (a) a class ring, (b) a wide-screen plasma television screen, and (c) a large pickup truck. Also, try to determine how much water is used to make each of these items and how much waste material is produced.
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List three ways in which lessening the need to mine gold and reducing its harmful environmental effects (Core Case Study) could benefit you.
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What is surface mining Define overburden, spoils and open-pit mining. Define strip mining and distinguish among area strip mining, contour strip mining, and mountaintop removal mining. Describe three harmful environmental effects of surface mining. What is subsurface mining What is the relationship between gold mining and mercury poisoning What caused the devastating release of caustic red mud from a sludge pond containing aluminum processing wastes at a Hungarian plant in 2000 What is smelting and what are its major harmful environmental effects
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List three ways in which a nanotechnology revolution (Science Focus, p. 294) could benefit you and three ways in which it could harm you.
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Search for rare earth metals and try to find the latest information on possible shortages of key rare earth minerals. Which countries hold the largest reserves What is the likelihood that China will eventually control the supplies and prices of these essential minerals What is the U.S. strategy for obtaining supplies of the key rare earth minerals
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CORE CASE STUDY Describe some harmful environmental effects of gold mining (Core Case Study).
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Explain why you support or oppose each of the following proposals concerning extraction of hard rock minerals on public land in the United States (Case Study, p. 291): (a) halting the practice of granting title to public land for actual or claimed hard rock mineral deposits; (b) requiring mining companies to pay a royalty of 8-12% on the gross income they earn from hard rock minerals that they extract from public lands; and (c) making hard rock mining companies legally responsible for restoring degraded land and cleaning up environmental damage caused by their activities.
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List three ways in which you could apply Concept 12-5 to making your lifestyle more environmentally sustainable.
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