Raw Materials Supply Other Sources
Of course, one will now ask: Where will all the raw materials to build an HC come from? Isn’t the world running out of sufficient resources? The answer is actually: no. What the world is supposedly running out of is what economist considered as “economically” viable resources, i.e., what would not demand more effort and better technology to procure. This planet contains sufficient resources to meet this world present and future need many times over. The oceans themselves (specifically- International Waters) are a vast reservoir of untapped resources ranging from polymetallic nodules and metal rich sediments to dissolved minerals. While these resources are freely available for exploitation, the UN Law of the Seas (LOS) requires that developing countries receive (at least) 1%-7% of the withdrawn resources, which is exactly what this project plans to do.
The NJK-HC will be implementing new and more advanced building materials made of Fiberglass, (more specifically Fiberglass Reinforced Plastics (FRP)) instead of metals wherever it is applicable. These longer lasting and more performant building materials will not only prove to be a better investment in many ways but will also be a less "expensive" resource as they are composed of over 75% silica from sands. With silicon being the second most abundant element on the earth's crust (28%) behind only Oxygen (46%) and 2X more abundant than aluminium (8%) and iron (6%) combined, and with sand being readily accessible in the voluminous "sand seas" (a.k.a. "ergs") of the earth's deserts, HC's will be able to be constructed and built up with highly reliable materials which are specifically sutiable for the more corrosive environment in which they will be placed.
The world's mineral market will also be a source for materials. This will mainly be done in order to speed up the building of an HC. It is also planned that minerals purchase from world markets, which are mainly extracted from land based mines, will be "returned" over time by minerals procured from ocean sources, particularly abundant dissolved minerals. Of course these minerals from the oceans will be sold back to land countries. In that way, minerals available to the world will be relatively maintained.
The fact that an HC is not land based and will procure its raw materials from non-conventional sources when not supplied by existing world markets may seem like a great impediment, but as the follwoing table shows, even a productive economy like the United States is greatly reliant on raw material imports from world markets for supply. (And that does not include fuel resources, e.g., crude oil ~67%).
May 28, 2008
World Commodity Data USGS Minerals Information: Commodity Statistics and Information