Depleting Ores and Renewal
Date: Fall 2012
Could we ever run out of ores? Could we create our own ores?
Thanks for the question. Yes, the amount of ore contained in Earth is finite, and we could run out if mining continues. No, we cannot create our own ores since that would be like creating matter. So, the best thing to do would be to recycle the metals that we have already mined.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Yes, we can run out of some types of ores. Ores, in general, are combinations of different types of atoms or combinations of different compounds - for example, iron can be found in nature as compounds called "magnetite": Fe3O4, "hematite": Fe2O3, and so on. It is possible to find the iron ore as composed mostly of magnetite or hematite, but usually the ore is a combination/mixture of these different compounds. So you can imagine, if we take out all the iron that is found in ores, we will eventually run out of iron ores. This is not likely for iron ores because there is quite a bit of iron on the Earth. However, some ores are less abundant and we could use up those minerals if we are not careful.
Greg (Roberto Gregorius)
An ore is rock from which we get useful metals. The amount of ore on Earth is limited so we can run out. That is why recycling metals is important. It helps us strethh the ore we do have.
Hope this helps.
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Update: November 2011