SOURCE: Industrial Info Resources

Industrial Info Resources

March 01, 2011 09:59 ET

Global Competition for Metals and Minerals Expected to Drive Prices Even Higher, an Industrial Info News Alert

DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - March 1, 2011) - Written by John Egan for Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) -- Despite near historic price levels, resources like copper, palladium, coal and rare earth elements "are severely underpriced, which is why I am extremely bullish" on the future of the mining industry, Russell Ball, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM) (Denver, Colorado), told about 1,000 attendees at the keynote session of the annual meeting of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) in Denver on Monday.

"I'm not a Malthusian," Ball said. "We'll continue to innovate to meet society's needs." But there is a global war for resources going on, and U.S. policymakers haven't been paying much attention, he said.

For example, U.S. imports of metals and minerals rose from $51 billion in 1995 to $120 billion in 2010, speakers told the SME keynote session. A lot of these imports are rare earth minerals. The U.S. imports 100% of nearly 20 different rare earth minerals, most of which come from China, which controls an estimated 97% of rare earth reserves. 

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