Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Rare Earth 1AC - DOC


									d0327534-fd58-4ea4-b5fe-140b1c7e8214.doc                                                                                     DDW 2011
Contention One: Inherency

Attempts to break Chinese rare earth monopoly have failed – and China is already beginning to raise
prices and tighten supply
Bradsher, 11 (Keith, writer for NYT, 5/2/11, “Supplies Squeezed, Rare Earth Prices Surge”,, 6/23/11, JPW)
      Rare earth prices are reaching rarefied heights. World prices have doubled in the last four months for rare earths — metallic
      elements needed for many of the most sophisticated civilian and military technologies, whether smartphones or smart
      bombs. And this year’s increases come atop price gains of as much as fourfold during 2010. The reason is basic economics:
      demand continues to outstrip efforts to expand supplies and break China’s chokehold on the market. Neodymium, a rare
      earth necessary for a range of products including headphones and hybrid electric cars, now fetches more than $283 a
      kilogram ($129 a pound) on the spot market. A year ago it sold for about $42 a kilogram ($19 a pound). Samarium, crucial
      to the manufacture of missiles, has climbed to more than $146 a kilogram, up from $18.50 a year earlier. While the price
      inflation is a concern to manufacturers, consumers in many cases will barely notice the soaring cost of rare earths. Even
      though the materials are crucial to the performance of everyday equipment like automotive catalytic converters and laptop
      computer display screens, rare earths typically are used only in trace quantities. One exception is the Toyota Prius hybrid
      car, whose manufacture uses a kilogram of neodymium. Toyota has been raising prices for the Prius, but has cited demand
      for the car and economic conditions. While acknowledging that rising prices for raw materials in general have affected the
      company’s overall financial results, Toyota has declined to provide a breakdown of the role of rare earths. (Production
      problems stemming from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami have also crimped supplies of Prius cars, which are made
      only in Japan.) The high prices for rare earths reflect turmoil in the global industry that mines and refines them. China,
      which controls more than 95 percent of the market, has further restricted exports so as to conserve supplies for its own
      high-tech and green energy industries. That is despite the World Trade Organization’s ban on most export restrictions.
      Meanwhile, an ambitious effort to open the world’s largest rare earth refinery in Malaysia, which had seemed certain to
      begin operating by this autumn, is tied up over regulatory reviews of the disposal plans for thousands of tons of low-level
      radioactive waste the plant would produce annually. Public opposition to the refinery is evident in the weekly protest
      demonstrations now being held. At the same time, Japanese companies are finding it harder than originally hoped to recycle
      rare earths from electronics and to begin rare earth mining and refining in Vietnam. Although rare earths are crucial to the
      supply chains of some of the world’s biggest manufacturers, the industry that mines and refines them has long been
      characterized by small, entrepreneurial companies. Lately, though, soaring prices have contributed to industry
      consolidation. Last month, for example, Solvay, a big Belgian chemical-industrial corporation announced that it would pay
      $4.8 billion to acquire Rhodia of France, a technological leader in making complex chemicals based on rare earths. That
      same day, April 4, Molycorp, the only American company currently producing rare earths, said it had paid $89 million for a
      more than 90 percent stake in Silmet of Estonia, a much smaller company that is Rhodia’s only European rival in rare earth
      processing. In Malaysia, where the giant rare earth refinery is under construction near the eastern port of Kuantan,
      regulators are delaying approval for an operating permit amid public concern about naturally occurring low-level
      radioactive contamination of the rare earth ore, which will be mined in Australia. Raja Dato Abdul Aziz bin Raja Adnan,
      the director general of the Malaysian Atomic Energy Licensing Board, said the board had asked the Lynas Corporation of
      Australia, which is building the refinery, to provide additional documentation before accepting its application for an initial
      operating permit. It will take up to six months to review the application, Raja Adnan said, and Lynas will not be allowed to
      bring any raw material to the plant until a permit is issued. But Nicholas Curtis, Lynas’s executive chairman, said that he
      believed the company could obtain the necessary approvals before September and that his company was sticking to its plan
      to begin feeding Australian ore into the Malaysian refinery’s kilns by the end of that month. The Malaysian government
      also announced last week that it would appoint a panel of international experts to review the safety of Lynas’s plans. The
      company said it welcomed the move. But Fuziah Salleh, an opposition legislator who represents downtown Kuantan and
      has been leading weekly protests, is mistrustful. “The people’s concerns are that the independent panel will be formed by
      the government to prove that they are right,” she wrote in an e-mail message. Toyota Tsusho, a materials purchasing unit of
      the Toyota Group, has separately encountered complex local regulations as it seeks to open rare earth mining and
      processing operations in Vietnam. The project was announced last October during a Chinese embargo on rare earth
      shipments to Japan. Takeshi Mutsuura, a spokesman, said that Toyota Tsusho now hoped to reach a contract in Vietnam
      this summer and start production in early 2013. As recently as last autumn, there were also ambitious hopes in Japan to
      recycle rare earths from electronics waste. Dowa Holdings tried then to come up with ways to separate rare earths at a
      recycling factory in northwest Japan but found the task significantly more difficult than recycling other, more widely

Last printed 8/21/2012 12:30:00 PM
d0327534-fd58-4ea4-b5fe-140b1c7e8214.doc                                                                                      DDW 2011
      available precious metals. The recycling factory is now recovering 19 other metals instead, including cobalt and lithium.
      All of this has left the world even more dependent on China. The Chinese government last autumn showed a willingness to
      use that near monopoly as a trade weapon, halting shipments to Japan from late September to mid-November, during a
      territorial dispute over islands in the East China Sea. Although Beijing has officially denied that it imposed a Japanese
      embargo last fall, China’s own trade data released since then show that its shipments to Japan suddenly fell to zero in
      October for rare earth metals, and to nearly zero for rare earth oxides — which are more processed chemical compounds.
      At the beginning of this year China reduced its rare earth export quotas to all countries, while raising export taxes on some
      rare earths to 25 percent, from 15 percent previously. Since April 1, China has also raised taxes on rare earth mining
      companies to the equivalent of $8 for each kilogram of refined product; rare earths were previously taxed like many other
      nonferrous minerals in China, at less than 50 cents a kilogram. One of the biggest questions hanging over the rare earths
      industry is whether the United States, the European Union and Japan will file a World Trade Organization case against
      China, challenging its export quotas and duties. James Bacchus, a former chairman of the W.T.O. appeals tribunal in
      Geneva, said that Chinese trade data shows a virtually complete halt in shipments to Japan last autumn could be cited to
      buttress any W.T.O. filing by rare earth-importing countries. China denies violating the W.T.O. ban on export restrictions,
      saying that it qualified for an exception to the ban for environmental protection and conservation of natural resources. But
      China has done little to restrict its own industries’ consumption of rare earths, usually a prerequisite for invoking an
      environmental defense.

China will be a net importer of REEs by 2015
CommodityOnline, 3/10/11, “China may become importer of rare earth metals: Molycorp”,
      China may become a net importer of some rare earth elements by 2015, based on the growth in clean technology, one rare
      earths developer said Wednesday. China currently produces 97% of rare earth metals, which are used in clean technology
      projects such as hybrid and electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines. "We are watching their production curve,"
      said Jim Sims, director of public affairs at U.S.-based Molycorp. Sims spoke at a session about rare metals and the electric
      car at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada's conference in Toronto. Their production might not be as
      much as believed, he said, adding that in the first half of 2011, China's export quota will continue its seven-year downward
      trend. Sims quoted the results of a survey conducted by, which said 59% of respondents believe the
      Asian country will turn into a net importer. Further, Sims said that senior Chinese officials have reportedly said "pointedly"
      that they are not ruling that out. Sims noted that China has huge growth in the wind turbine sector and even with the
      growth of car sales in China, production and use of electric bikes are growing swiftly, too. Hybrid and electric vehicles
      come to mind when discussing clean technology and rare metals, and Sims noted that about 12 kilograms of various rare
      metals are used in these vehicles. Projecting demand for these vehicles and other clean-technology devices is difficult in
      part because of how quickly some will depend on supply of the various metals used, said Gareth Hatch, founding principal
      of Technology Metals Research. Hatch said in December, the U.S. Department of Energy released a 166-page research
      paper called "Critical Materials Strategy" which in part estimated the impact of market share and material intensity – how
      much used for a particular technology - for several rare earth metals. The DOE looked at the potential impact of high and
      low market penetration. The DOE reviewed several technology types from advanced batteries, thin-film semiconductors –
      which are mostly used in solar panels – and phosphors, which are used in LCD and plasma displays and newer light bulbs.
      Hatch said the DOE looked at what the supply of 14 various metals would be by 2015 and by 2020. The most critical metal,
      in terms of high use in clean energy and supply, in the next five years is dysprosium. Others include europium, indium,
      neodymium, terbium and yttrium. In the short term, lithium is not considered critical based on the projected use and supply,
      but in the next 5-10 years, it moves into the "near-critical" stage. Prices for rare earth metals have risen as attention to
      these elements grows and Hatch said as reality sets in, prices might sort themselves out. "I'm not an economist … but as
      sources of supply readily available come on stream, we could see a reduction in the price of some. I don't believe they'll fall
      back to their historical lows because of demand. There are a handful of metals whose price I don't see changing," he said,
      suggesting that dysprosium and terbium might be two of those.

Last printed 8/21/2012 12:30:00 PM
d0327534-fd58-4ea4-b5fe-140b1c7e8214.doc                                                     DDW 2011
Plan: The USFG should fund the development of its rare earth mining capability beyond the earth’s

Last printed 8/21/2012 12:30:00 PM
d0327534-fd58-4ea4-b5fe-140b1c7e8214.doc                                                                                     DDW 2011
                                              REE Mining 1AC- Warming
Contention Two: Warming

Lack of rare earth elements, also known as REEs, is the Achilles heel of Obama’s green energy agenda.
Jacobson, Associate Clinical Professor of Law, 10/19
Rare Earth Metals Become Rarer William A. Jacobson is Associate Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Securities Law
Clinic at Cornell Law School. He is a 1981 graduate of Hamilton College and a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School. At Harvard he
was Senior Editor of the Harvard International Law Journal and Director of Litigation for the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 9:20pm <>//DoeS
     Last January, and again in late September, I wrote that the Achilles heel of the Obama green energy agenda — which
     involves a stifling of carbon-based energy use through taxation and regulation in favor of “green” energy sources — failed
     to take into account that green energy technology depended heavily on “rare earth” minerals mined almost exclusively in
     China. Once again, this near monopoly is coming home to roost, as China has announced an across-the-board cut back in
     rare earth exports. As reported by The New York Times: China, which has been blocking shipments of crucial minerals to
     Japan for the last month, has now quietly halted shipments of those materials to the United States and Europe, three
     industry officials said on Tuesday. The Chinese action, involving rare earth minerals that are crucial to manufacturing many
     advanced products, seems certain to further intensify already rising trade and currency tensions with the West. Until
     recently, China typically sought quick and quiet accommodations on trade issues. But the interruption in rare earth supplies
     is the latest sign from Beijing that Chinese leaders are willing to use their growing economic muscle. As I stated before,
     Obama merely is trading our dependence on foreign oil — as to which there are numerous suppliers — for dependence on a
     single foreign source of green technology raw materials.

Fossil fuel dependence is responsible for global warming.
O’Driscoll and Vergano 7
Fossil fuels are to blame, world scientists conclude Updated 3/1/2007 10:04 PM ET By Patrick O'Driscoll (national correspondent,
Denver bureau chief at USA TODAY, reporter at The Denver Post, Cover Story writer at USA TODAY) and Dan Vergano (member
at National Association of Science Writers Fellow at Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard Fellow at Nieman Foundation for
Journalism USA TODAY)
     A major international analysis of climate change due Friday will conclude that humankind's reliance on fossil fuels — coal,
     fuel oil and natural gas — is to blame for global warming, according to three scientists familiar with the research on which
     it is based. The gold-standard Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report represents "a real convergence
     happening here, a consensus that this is a total global no-brainer," says U.S. climate scientist Jerry Mahlman, former
     director of the federal government's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in New Jersey. "The big message that will
     come out is the strength of the attribution of the warming to human activities," says researcher Claudia Tebaldi of the
     National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo. Mahlman, who crafted the IPCC language used to
     define levels of scientific certainty, says the new report will lay the blame at the feet of fossil fuels with "virtual certainty,"
     meaning 99% sure. That's a significant jump from "likely," or 66% sure, in the group's last report in 2001, Mahlman says.
     His role in this year's effort involved spending two months reviewing the more than 1,600 pages of research that went into
     the new assessment. Among the findings, Tebaldi says, is that even if people stopped burning the fossil fuels that release
     carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping gas blamed most for the warm-up, the effects of higher temperatures, including deadlier
     heat waves, coastal floods, longer droughts, worse wildfires and higher energy bills, would not go away in our lifetime.
     "Most of the carbon dioxide still would just be sitting there, staring at us for the next century," Mahlman says.

Last printed 8/21/2012 12:30:00 PM
d0327534-fd58-4ea4-b5fe-140b1c7e8214.doc                                                                                       DDW 2011
Renewable energy alone can solve global warming
Zervos & Coequyt 2007
Arthouros Zervos, European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) John Coequyt, Climate & Energy Unit, Greenpeace USA Increasing
Renewable           Energy         in       U.S.        Can         Solve        Global       Warming          January       24,        2007
     Landmark analysis released by Greenpeace USA, European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and other climate and
     energy advocates shows that the United States can indeed address global warming without relying on nuclear power or so-
     called "clean coal" -- as some in the ongoing energy debate claim. The new report, "Energy Revolution: A Blueprint for
     Solving Global Warming" details a worldwide energy scenario where nearly 80% of U.S. electricity can be produced by
     renewable energy sources; where carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced 50% globally and 72% in the U.S. without
     resorting to an increase in dangerous nuclear power or new coal technologies; and where America's oil use can be cut by
     more than 50% by 2050 by using much more efficient cars and trucks (potentially plug-in hybrids), increased use of
     biofuels and a greater reliance on electricity for transportation. The 92-page report, commissioned by the German
     Aerospace Center, used input on all technologies of the renewable energy industry, including wind turbines, solar
     photovoltaic panels, biomass power plants, solar thermal collectors, and biofuels, all of which "are rapidly becoming
     "The world cannot afford to stick to the conventional energy development path, relying on fossil fuels, nuclear, and other
     outdated technologies. Energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy must play leading roles in the world's energy
     future." -- Arthouros Zervos of the European Renewable Energy Council and John Coequyt of Greenpeace USA
     Introduction from the Report The good news first. Renewable energy, combined with energy efficiency, can meet half of
     the world's energy needs by 2050. This new report, "Energy Revolution: A Blueprint for Solving Global Warming," shows
     that it is not only economically feasible, but also economically desirable, to cut U.S. CO2 emissions by almost 75% within
     the next 43 years. These reductions can be achieved without nuclear power, and while virtually ending U.S. dependence on
     coal. Contrary to popular opinion, a massive uptake of renewable energy and efficiency improvements alone can solve our
     global warming problem. All that is missing is the right policy support from the President and Congress. The bad news is
     that time is running out. The overwhelming consensus of scientific opinion is that the global climate is changing and that
     this change is caused in large part by human activities; if left unchecked, it will have disastrous consequences for Earth's
     ecosystems and societies. Furthermore, there is solid scientific evidence that we must act now. This is reflected in the
     conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a collaborative effort involving more than 1,000
     scientists. Its next report, due for release early this year, is expected to make the case for urgent action even stronger. In the
     United States there is a groundswell of activity at the local and state levels. Many mayors, governors, and public and
     business leaders are doing their part to address climate change. But they can only do so much; action is needed at the
     federal level. Now is the time for a national, science-based cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

Cummins and Allen 10—*Int’l. Dir. – Organic Consumers Association - Policy Advisor – Organic Consumers Association
(Ronnie and Will, Climate Catastrophe: Surviving the 21st Century, 14 February 2010,, AMiles)
      The hour is late. Leading climate scientists such as James Hansen are literally shouting at the top of their lungs that the
      world needs to reduce emissions by 20-40% as soon as possible, and 80-90% by the year 2050, if we are to avoid climate
      chaos, crop failures, endless wars, melting of the polar icecaps, and a disastrous rise in ocean levels. Either we radically
      reduce CO2 and carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e, which includes all GHGs, not just CO2) pollutants (currently at 390
      parts per million and rising 2 ppm per year) to 350 ppm, including agriculture-derived methane and nitrous oxide pollution,
      or else survival for the present and future generations is in jeopardy. As scientists warned at Copenhagen, business as usual
      and a corresponding 7-8.6 degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperatures means that the carrying capacity of the Earth in
      2100 will be reduced to one billion people. Under this hellish scenario, billions will die of thirst, cold, heat, disease, war,
      and starvation.

Last printed 8/21/2012 12:30:00 PM
d0327534-fd58-4ea4-b5fe-140b1c7e8214.doc                                                                                         DDW 2011
                                                   REE Mining 1AC- Econ
Contention Three: Trade War

China’s monopoly on rare earths leads to trade wars
Ensinger 11 (Dustin, 3/28/11, “China’s Restrictions of Rare Earth Exports Causes Price to Skyrocket”,, 6/23/11, JPW)
      China has used its monopoly on rare earth metals in the past to bully economic partners. In October, it was revealed that the
      government was restricting exports of the metals to both the U.S. and Japan. Many believe the U.S. was targeted because of
      an investigation launched by the U.S. examining Chinese subsidies in clean energy technology. The country has backed off
      on restriction of all exports, but it is controlling the supply, exporting less and causing the price to rise to unseen heights. In
      July, the price of a ton of just one of the 17 metals averaged $14,405. Last month, that number skyrocketed to $109,036.
      There is some evidence that the Chinese have been cutting exports of the metals since 2006. Some believe that with China
      playing hardball on rare earth metals it could lead to intense trade wars. “The rare earth metal dispute is the first time
      Chinese sanctions have generated a significant level of countermoves from major trading partners to weaken China's
      economic leverage over them. This suggests that China's new strategy could lead to trade wars in a way that earlier
      economic responses never did,” said Jongryn Mo.

Trade war is the biggest internal link to US-China war
Landy, 07 (Ben, Director of Research and Strategy at the Atlantic Media Company, served in various research and project
management positions at the Brookings Institution and Center for Strategic and International Studies, two leading public policy think
tanks in Washington DC, 4/3/07,
     The greatest threat for the 21st century is that these economic flare-ups between the US and China will not be contained,
     but might spill over into the realm of military aggression between these two world powers. Economic conflict breeds
     military conflict. The stakes of trade override the ideological power of the Taiwan issue. China’s ability to continue
     growing at a rapid rate takes precedence, since there can be no sovereignty for China without economic growth. The United
     States’ role as the world’s superpower is dependent on its ability to lead economically. As many of you will know from
     reading this blog, I do not believe that war between the US and China is imminent, or a foregone conclusion in the future. I
     certainly do not hope for war. But I have little doubt that protectionist policies, on both sides, greatly increase the likelihood
     of conflict – far more than increases in military budgets and anti-satellite tests.

That’s extinction
Lee Hunkovic, Professor at the American Military University, 2009,
      A war between China, Taiwan and the United States has the potential to escalate into a nuclear conflict and a third world
      war, therefore, many countries other than the primary actors could be affected by such a conflict, including Japan, both
      Koreas, Russia, Australia, India and Great Britain, if they were drawn into the war, as well as all other countries in the
      world that participate in the global economy, in which the United States and China are the two most dominant members.
      If China were able to successfully annex Taiwan, the possibility exists that they could then plan to attack Japan and begin a
      policy of aggressive expansionism in East and Southeast Asia, as well as the Pacific and even into India, which could in
      turn create an international standoff and deployment of military forces to contain the threat. In any case, if China and the
      United States engage in a full-scale conflict, there are few countries in the world that will not be economically and/or
      militarily affected by it. However, China, Taiwan and United States are the primary actors in this scenario, whose actions
      will determine its eventual outcome, therefore, other countries will not be considered in this study.

Last printed 8/21/2012 12:30:00 PM
d0327534-fd58-4ea4-b5fe-140b1c7e8214.doc                                                                                    DDW 2011
                                              REE Mining 1AC- Solvency
Contention Four: Solvency

A USFG stockpile of rare earth materials would solve economic and military problems
Humphries 10 (Marc, Analyst in Energy Policy for the Congressional Research Service, 9/10/10, “Rare Earth Elements: The
Global Supply Chain”,, 6/23/11, JPW)
    Establishing a government-run economic stockpile and/or private-sector stockpiles that would contain supplies of specific
    REE broadly needed for “green initiatives” and defense applications is a policy advocated by some in industry and
    government. This may be a prudent investment. Generally, stockpiles and stockpile releases could have an impact on prices
    and supply but would also ensure supplies of REE materials (oxides, metals, etc.) during times of normal supply
    bottlenecks. An economic stockpile could be costly and risky, as prices and technology may change the composition of
    REEs that are needed in the economy. According to USGS, 34 DOD along with USGS is examining which of the REEs
    might be necessary in the National Defense Stockpile (NDS). In the recent past, NDS materials were stored for wartime use
    based on a three-year war scenario. Some of the rare earth elements contained in the National Defense Stockpile were sold
    off by 1998. However, rare earth elements were never classified as strategic minerals. 35 DOD had stockpiled some yttrium
    but has since sold it off, and none of the REEs have been classified as strategic materials. A critical question for stockpile
    development would be: What materials along the supply chain should be stockpiled? For example, should the stockpile
    contain rare earth oxides or alloyed magnets which contain the REEs, or some combination of products? The National
    Research Council (NRC) has produced an in-depth report on minerals critical to the U.S. economy and offers its analysis as
    described here: “... most critical minerals are both essential in use (difficult to substitute for) and prone to supply
    restrictions.” 36 While the NRC report is based on several availability criteria used to rank minerals for criticality
    (geological, technical, environmental and social, political, and economic), REEs were determined to be critical materials
    assessed at a high supply risk and the possibility of severe impacts if supplies were restricted. Some of the REE
    applications are viewed as more important than others and some are at greater risk than others, namely the Heavy Rare
    Earth Elements (HREEs), as substitutes are unavailable or not as effective. 37

Precedent indicates a movement towards asteroid mining could influence China to relax export controls
Bova 10 (Ben, 11/28/10, novelist who wrote “Mars Life” and columnist for the Naples News, “Rare earth elements are in the news”,, 6/24/11, JPW)
      Mining rare earths from asteroids would be enormously expensive, at first. But the effort could help to start a transition
      toward developing space industries. In time, we could see many industrial operations running in space, using virtually free
      solar energy, while our world becomes cleaner and greener: a residential zone, with industry moving off our planet. Would
      a move in this direction influence the Chinese government to relax its grip on rare-earth exports? There is a precedent for
      this sort of thing. In the 1980s, when former President Ronald Reagan proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative (aka “Star
      Wars”) it started a chain of events that led eventually to the fall of the Soviet Union. We didn’t go ahead with SDI —
      indeed, we still do not have a credible defense against ballistic missiles. But the possibility that the U.S. might develop
      missile defenses helped to crack the Soviet Union apart. The possibility of mining rare earths from asteroids might help
      influence China, too.

Last printed 8/21/2012 12:30:00 PM
d0327534-fd58-4ea4-b5fe-140b1c7e8214.doc                                                                                      DDW 2011
A single asteroid can have more rare-earth metal than has ever been mined in the course of human
Geere 10 (Duncan, writer for Wired magazine, 7/15/10, “Making space exploration pay with asteroid mining”,, 6/23/11, JPW)
      Asteroids happen to be particularly rich in platinum group metals -- ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and
      platinum. These elements are extremely rare on Earth, and most of the world's known deposits come from sites of asteroid
      impact. They're so rare that prices for a few grams can be in the thousands of pounds. However, they're also crucial
      ingredients for electronics. They're very stable, resistant to chemical attack, and cope with high temperatures, making them
      perfect for use in circuitry. Asteroids that have already been surveyed have been shown to contain vast amounts of these
      metals. One average 500-metre-wide asteroid contains hundreds of billions of pounds-worth of metal -- more than has ever
      been mined in the course of human history. Near-Earth asteroids are likely first targets for mining, due to the ease of getting
      to them, and getting the materials back to earth. Increasing the supply of platinum group metals on earth by sending up
      specialist mining spacecraft could have two benefits. Firstly, it'd allow the cost of electronics production to go down. More
      raw material should push down the market price. Secondly, it'd offer a motive for space travel beyond "the pursuit of
      knowledge". While pursuit of knowledge is a noble goal, it's proved increasing difficult to fund since the days of the space
      race in the 1960s. Introducing capitalism, corporations and stockholders in that process might seem like an anathema to
      some space enthusiasts, but it may be necessary to fund the huge amount of space exploration that still needs to be done. In
      history, great voyages of exploration have rarely been done solely with the goal of furthering knowledge. Columbus
      discovered America while trying to find a easier, cheaper way of shipping spice from the East to the West, following the
      fall of Constantinople. The vast expanse of the interior of America was mapped by gold-rushers, seeking their fortune.
      Similarly, Antarctica was discovered by explorers seeking new sources of seal meat, and much of northern Canada and its
      lakes were charted by fur traders and those hoping to save time crossing the Pacific from Europe by avoiding having to
      round Cape Horn in South America. So to those despairing about the recent cutting of space budgets across the world,
      invest your savings in asteroid mining. If history is any guide, then once that industry takes off, a whole new frontier will
      open up for humanity.

Last printed 8/21/2012 12:30:00 PM
d0327534-fd58-4ea4-b5fe-140b1c7e8214.doc                                                                                DDW 2011
Tech is available now
Crandall et. al, Crandall founded Abundant Planet in 2005. Shortly thereafter, he entered the MBA program at California
Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo, to study the economic and commercial feasibility of extraterrestrial resource development. He
graduated from the program in 2008, Gorman is Associate Professor of Finance at California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo, where he
has been recognized as the most outstanding faculty member in the finance department every year, since 2003. He received a B.S. in
Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University, an MBA in Finance from Western Washington University, and a Ph.D in
Finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Peter Howard is a senior scientist at Exelixis, Inc., in
South San Francisco. He received his B.S. in Genetics from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in Molecular
Genetics from the University of California, San Diego, Frans von der Dunk is a Professor of Space Law in the College of Law at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He recently hosted a conference on potentially hazardous near-Earth objects, offered a video
commentary on space junk, and discussed several key topics in space law on David Livingston’s Space Show, Martin Elvis is a Senior
Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He has been affiliated with the Chandra X-ray Observatory,
NASA’s flagship mission for X-ray astronomy, since the 1980s, Dante Lauretta is an Associate Professor of Planetary Sciences at the
University of Arizona, and Founder and Director of the Southwest Meteorite Center, Jordi Puig-Suari is a Professor of Aerospace
Engineering at California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo. He received a B.S. and an M.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical
Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics, all from Purdue University, 2010, 6/23/11, JPW
     First mineral samples: June 2010 The return of the Hayabusa (mission animation; mission overview), bringing mineral
     samples from near-Earth asteroid (NEA) Itokawa, marks the onset of The Age of Asteroid Mining: Extraterrestrial resource
     development has begun. Hayabusa faced and overcame many challenges. It successfully returned to Earth on 13 June 2010,
     plummeting through the atmosphere in a fiery display, and is now scheduled to appear in its own movie. Just as a silken
     thread, tied to a stone and thrown across a deep gorge, makes it possible to deploy a string, a rope, and eventually a load
     bearing bridge, the knowledge base that has been created by the JAXA team of engineers will inform all future efforts to
     mine asteroid mineral wealth. They will forever be the first to have completed the loop: From Earth to asteroid and back.
     Business opportunities Future NEA sample-return missions are planed by the engineers at JAXA (Hayabusa 2), as well as
     several other groups in the European Space Agency and at NASA. (NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, launched in September
     2007, aims for two main belt asteroids.) Missions to analyze, monitor, respond to, and, if necessary, move potentially
     hazardous NEAs (PHAs), such as Apophis, have also been planned. One such mission is projected to cost less than $20
     million. The Hayabusa mission to Itokawa cost $170 million. To date, over 7,000 NEAs have been identified. Of these,
     15% are easier to reach than the moon. New telescopes, such as Pan-STARRS and the LSST (generating “terabytes of
     data/night”), are expected to detect half a million more (500,000) over the next 15 years. This will significantly increase
     awareness of both Earth-impact risks and business opportunities. Why mine asteroids? Why mine asteroids? To get rich. To
     increase humanity’s real wealth. To industrialize the inner solar system, and eventually build off-planet habitats. Many
     asteroids are rich in industrial-use metals. The platinum-group metals (PGMs) are particularly attractive due to their high
     cost, limited terrestrial availability (South Africa supplies 75% of the world’s platinum and over 80% of its rhodium;
     Russia supplies most of the rest, 14% of the platinum and 12% of the rhodium), and their relative abundance in certain
     classes of asteroids. A single, 500 m NEA, of a common type, contains tens of billions of dollars worth of PGMs, as well as
     tons of iron, nickel and other useful materials.

Last printed 8/21/2012 12:30:00 PM

To top