Supply and demand

Our love of and need for ever-updating electronic gadgets and computers is putting mineral resources of rare but essential metals for components under increasing strain; so much is well known. Now, Saleem Ali of the University of Delaware suggests that global resource governance and sharing of geoscience data are needed to address this problem and allow us to secure future mineral supply. Ali writes on the problem in the journal Nature with experts from academia, government and industry from the USA, Europe, South Africa, Australia and South America. Ali points out that currently, “There are treaties on climate change, biodiversity, migratory species and even waste management of organic chemicals, but there is no international mechanism to govern how mineral supply should be coordinated." This situation must be remedied urgently.