An article on 'Mining the Urban Waste' has been published in the December edition of Materials Recycling World (MRW). With metal scarcity soaring up the political agenda, Dr Tim Johnson, Technical Director at Tetronics International, explains why - and how the waste sector can benefit:
Until 2003, the prices of an enormous range of metals had remained amazingly constant for decades. It may not have felt like that at the time, with prices varying up to 50% year-on-year. But with the benefit of hindsight it is clear that, over the longer term, average prices of a huge range of materials remained relatively stable.
But from 2003, a step change took place, with raw materials prices increasing sharply for five years. In 2008 they reached a peak, before the credit bubble burst and prices tumbled.
However, even at the deepest point of the credit crunch, commodity prices were still around double that of the previous long-term average, and it did not take long for them to rebound.
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