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The Economic Impact of Off-World Mining

Conference Paper (PDF Available)  · November 2012with214 Reads

Conference: Conference: 3rd International Space World
Abstract
The ten rarest elements currently used by humanity are consumed at a rate of 83 metric tons per year yet their value exceeds $1.1 billion per year with a present value of $22.6 billion. Supplies of these rare materials are strictly limited on Earth yet demand grows inexorably. These elements are extracted from deposits on Earth that are associated with ancient cratering events. Their abundance is well characterized in known M-type asteroids providing accurate predictions of value. It makes sense therefore to look in detail at how these ten materials may be extracted at their source in space from these known reserves. This paper shows how an off-world metals exchange, bank and clearing house can organize sufficient value created from future production to support development of up to twenty five solar powered automated mining operations which deliver venture capital rates of return to investors today, provide liquidity for those investors, as well as manage risk for all stake holders, including consumers of these materials. A detailed analysis of Asteroid 16 Psyche and 4 Vesta is performed and structured as a mining development showing how astrometric, astronomical, and astronautical engineering information is structured in a way to make sense to existing resource markets. Optimal methods of recovery are discussed and their impact on price discovery is examined.
The Economic Impact of Off-World Mining.
Author: William H. Mook, Jr. (CEO Zeecol Limited)
The ten rarest elements currently used by humanity are consumed at a rate of 83 metric tons
per year yet their value exceeds $1.1 billion per year with a present value of $22.6 billion.
Supplies of these rare materials are strictly limited on Earth yet demand grows inexorably.
These elements are extracted from deposits on Earth that are associated with ancient cratering
events. Their abundance is well characterized in known M-type asteroids providing accurate
predictions of value. It makes sense therefore to look in detail at how these ten materials may
be extracted at their source in space from these known reserves. This paper shows how an off-
world metals exchange, bank and clearing house can organize sufficient value created from
future production to support development of up to twenty five solar powered automated mining
operations which deliver venture capital rates of return to investors today, provide liquidity for
those investors, as well as manage risk for all stake holders, including consumers of these
materials.
A detailed analysis of Asteroid 16 Psyche and 4 Vesta is performed and structured as a mining
development showing how astrometric, astronomical, and astronautical engineering information
is structured in a way to make sense to existing resource markets. Optimal methods of
recovery are discussed and their impact on price discovery is examined.
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