The Empire's Mineral Wealth


    THE leading article in the September issue of Sands, Clays and Minerals develops the theory that the Empire can be made in Dr. Johnson's words "rich beyond the dreams of avarice" by economic development of known mineral resources and by systematic exploration of every country within the Empire for hitherto undiscovered deposits. It is no longer practicable to await accidental discoveries of valuable mineral resources: they must be looked for scientifically. Admittedly an exhaustive Imperial mineral survey is a Herculean task, but certain suggestions are made which should go far towards this ultimate aim. It is too great a task for any private concern or individual, or indeed for any Government. It must be undertaken corporately by geologists, metallurgists, economists, Government officials, and others equipped for different phases of the investigation, all of whom must take a share of executive authority. Aerial survey is the means by which information can be obtained on the resources of every country, but this should be conducted on a more scientific basis than hitherto. Present-day mining and metallurgical technique should at the same time be scrutinized and improved wherever possible on the advice of experts. Moreover, ancillary investigations of transport systems, market conditions, currency, tariffs, banking and finance in general, should be undertaken in order to provide a central body with all the information necessary to co-ordinate survey results. Finally, the technical education of the coming generation of geologists, chemists, mineralogists and industrialists, and of the mature worker in these fields should be broadened to give an imperial view-point of mineral resources rather than a restricted outlook on one part only.

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    The Empire's Mineral Wealth. Nature 140, 801 (1937).

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