Rick, do you remember when the Chinese government said they would dump a bunch of copper onto the market to make up a budget deficit? Did they end up doing it after all?
don't know about that but I do know from my former amatuer mineralogy/earth science/geology/gemology days just how nsty a business copper mining is.Especially the ore separation process.
Because of this and the nature of the environmental impact emerging nations,third world nations or nations that follow no rules have a serious advantage.
It costs them far less to produce the end product than any civilised nation that has environmental standards or worker protections in place.The cost of extraction and ore separation is so high that even if that nation has higher reserves in the ground it is still cheaper to import the raw material and close the mines.
Putting this on a U.S. vs. Rest of the World level.We can never compete with any nation on certain goods because of the value we place on human life and the actual salaries payed which when the end iscalculated ends up in "real dollars" $45 per man per hour for every $20 per hour worker.when the competition has what is essentially a slave labor work force they can sell the product for 1/5 and even after shipping internationally make a profit.
No rules,no standards,pure profit
BTW-from the "who cares,means nothing" files of rick's brain (
) you know why copper silver and gold have and have had value since the dawn of history ?
Because in the pure natural state are "malleable" which means you can take the raw metal and beat it into any shape you want without breaking it ! Take a round hunk of any of the above three and with a mallet you can bang it into a sheet.
This same "plus" is ecactly what makes these metals piss poor for tools or weapons.Hit a hard surface with a silver or copper or gold sword and it is the sword that will deform and until humans learned how to make alloys,combinations of metals taking advantage of the strengths of each one were held back from advancing as a species and instead left producing potter and artworks of these metals (the guilding from beating the metal).
the dawn of the brinze age,the alloy was the dawn of the "tool" age because it took humans from using rocks and sticks to using metal tools that could MAKE the world around them conform to their will