Mission 2016: Strategic Natural Resources

Challenge: devise plans to ensure that all nations, including those that aspire to be developed, have access to these ever decreasing resources by implementing recycling technologies, searching for non-traditional sources, and developing an environmentally sensitive global management plan.

Background: Strategic minerals are essential to nearly every aspect of modern life, and elements extracted from these minerals are incorporated in products ranging from cell phones to nuclear reactors. In 2010, the automobile industry alone used 113,000 kg of the strategic element platinum (Loferski, 2011). The developing alternative energy market utilizes many of these elements; large wind turbines each contain over half a ton of the strategic element neodymium (Willis, 2012)(Kidela Capital Group). Currently, our rate of consumption of many strategic minerals is not sustainable (Beauford, 2010), and the competition to obtain these minerals has led to environmental destruction, endangerment of human rights, and political turmoil.

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