Peak Mineral Sands ?  

Posted by Big Gav

Alan Kohler has an interview with Iluka CEO David Robb about the application of "peak oil" ideas to mineral sands production (somewhat unconvincingly after they earlier discuss his deliberate reduction of production) - Iluka's Robb concerned by industry behaviour.

ALAN KOHLER: In a recent presentation you compared your products to peak oil, which implies that the production is declining and there's no more sources of supply.

Are you sure of that? I mean are you sure there won't be any surprise suppliers bobbing up?

DAVID ROBB: Well we don't know what we don't know. Obviously if someone other than us made a really big discovery tomorrow in time that would have an effect. But there's a lead time from discovery to first production that provides a buffer.

I think what you do see is sort of two over-arching themes in the world today. One is the demand from emerging economies for raw materials, and the other thing is the world is struggling in many areas to respond to that demand.

Our industry is the same. The peak oil reference also really relates to the fact that in order to sustain oil supplies, the world has relied on technological advances - deep water drilling, 3-D seismic, all of those things that have actually made more oil available. I don't think we've seen the same technological breakthroughs to produce more in many mineral resources. And without that I think the supply problems going to continue for quite a while.

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