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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Journal of Petroleum Geology


Journal of Petroleum Geology, Vol.1, No.4, pp. 77-89, 1979

┬ęCopyright 2000 Scientific Press, Ltd.


Howard A. Meyerhoff*

* 3625 South Florence Place, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74105, USA.


No better summary of the outlook for the mineral raw materials industry during the next two decades can be offered than the oft-repeated aphorism, "The more things change, the more they remain the same". Each mineral commodity will pursue its own individual course, but overall, the growth and increasing sophistication of the world population will double consumption and narrow such gaps as exist between supply and demand. Sources of supply will be found over a widening geographic range and will cross an increasing number of political boundaries. Although the need for an international mineral policy is obvious, confrontation between the industrial nations of the West and the anti-colonialism and nationalism of Third World countries offers little hope of anything better than ad hoc solutions in the form of bilateral agreements or cartelization of specific commodities involving several producing nations with common interests. Japan has shown the efficacy of bilateral agreements; the International Tin Council and OPEC are examples of cartelization. Although its mineral resources make the USSR all but self-sufficient, analysis of its military and maritime programmes indicates that one of its aims is to fill the vacuum created by the lack of an international mineral policy. It is following closely a modernized formula for world domination set forth by Sir Halford Mackinder in 1904. Success would enable it to impose a mineral "policy" on the rest of the world, which will be well advised to ponder this possibility.

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