This article is a short review on the subject of diminishing mineral resources in a world with increasing population. The concepts of reserves, resources, and life index are described. A forecast is made on the global consumption in the year 2050 of the metals iron (Fe), aluminum (Al), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), nickel (Ni), and lead (Pb). Evidence indicates that a physical depletion of metals does not occur (fixed stock paradigm) but certain metals will become too expensive to extract (opportunity cost paradigm). The future demand for cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), and selenium (Se) is presented. Finally, some metals presently of great interest for mineral prospectors that may have an important role in the future society are presented.
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