Competitiveness of the U.S. Minerals and Metals Industry by National Research Council Staff

By National Research Council Staff

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Page breaks are true to the original; line lengths, word breaks, heading styles, and other typesetting-specific formatting, however, cannot be retained, and some typographic errors may have been accidentally inserted. Please use the print version of this publication as the authoritative version for attribution. S. MINERALS AND METALS INDUSTRY IN A CHANGING GLOBAL CONTEXT 16 By 1985 the domestic nonferrous metals industry had recorded four consecutive years of heavy losses. Prices (in constant dollar terms) of several major metals had reached their lowest level since the Great Depression (Figure 1-3).

Aluminum industry will retain other advantages resulting from low-cost transportation on inland waterways and proximity to markets as well as a base of existing facilities. Because aluminum smelting is capital intensive, existing smelters can continue to compete with new smelters in other countries. Finally, the aluminum industry extends far downstream to include the production of specialty alloys in forms desired by the consumer. Firms in the aluminum industry compete not only on metal price and production costs but also on the ability to deliver desired products.

Seismic) analysis of deeper subterranean features, by analysis of photographic and spectrographic data collected from aircraft and even satellites, by computer modeling techniques, and even by biochemical analysis of organic material on the surface. Mining is the process of removing ore from the ground, either by open pit or underground methods. The next phase, often termed beneficiation , involves the production of a form of the ore in which the mineral is more concentrated. This may be accomplished by physical means, in which the ore is reduced to smaller particles by mechanical crushing and grinding, followed by physical separation of the mineral values from the ore to produce a "concentrate"—material containing a relatively high percentage of the metal of interest.

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