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Metals, Energy and Sustainability: The Story of Doctor Copper and King Coal

By: Barry Golding(Author), Suzanne D Golding(Author)

196 pages, 68 colour & 12 b/w photos and illustrations, colour tables


Hardback | Mar 2017 | #238508 | ISBN-13: 9783319511733
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £74.99 $98/€85 approx

About this book

Metals, Energy and Sustainability explains how and where copper and fossil fuels were formed and the likely future for the extraction of copper and coal. The colourful chronology of our efforts to extract metals from minerals and energy from fossil fuels is presented from earliest times until the present day. The difficult concept of human sustainability is examined in the context of continually decreasing real prices of energy and metals. Metals, Energy and Sustainability integrates the latest findings on our historic use of technology to continually produce cheaper metals even though ore grades have been decreasing. Furthermore, it shows that the rate of technological improvement must increase if metals are to be produced even more cheaply in the future.


- Introduction - Dr Copper and King Coal
- Why copper
- Why coal
- Setting the scene Outline
- Properties of copper and coal
- Copper formation
- Copper mineralogy
- Coal formation
- Copper properties
- Copper and coal through the ages
- Early metalsmiths
- Awakening from the dark ages
- The first modern mines
- The age of electricity
- Current major producers
- Metals energy and sustainability
- Human welfare
- Copper's contribution to welfare Coal's contribution to welfare
- Sustainability in context
- Sustainability with respect to copper and coal
- Population - half the equation Crying wolf, false/true profits
- Conclusion
- Human welfare depends on cheap energy
- Subsidies distort the market
- Scarcity of metals and energy
- Elephants in the room

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Barry Golding commenced his mining career at Dawson Valley Colliery, a mine that supplied coal for the Mount Morgan Limited copper reverberatory furnace, in 1965. He accepted a cadetship with Mount Morgan Limited in 1966 and completed his degree in Mining Engineering in 1968. Barry went on to work in metalliferous and coal mining in Australia and gold and chrome mining in South Africa and has worked continuously in the mining industry from 1968 onward, apart from two years in the army that included a year in Vietnam. Barry completed a Postgraduate Diploma of Applied Economics followed by a Master of Economics by Research in 2002. The focus for both degrees was applying cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness techniques to resource management, incorporating risk analysis and sustainable development. In 2011 he was awarded his PhD in Economics at the University of Queensland for his thesis entitled Metals, Energy and Sustainability.

Suzanne Golding commenced her geology career at the Mount Morgan gold-copper mine in 1967. She graduated from the University of Queensland in 1970 with a first class honours degree in Geology. Suzanne worked in mineral exploration and production in Australia and gold and coal mining in South Africa throughout the 1970s. In 1982 she was awarded a PhD in Geochemistry from the University of Queensland for work on gold mineralization in the Kalgoorlie-Norseman region, Western Australia.Suzanne has served at the University of Queensland since 1982 and is currently a Professor at its School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. She has published more than 160 journal articles and book chapters and edited a pioneering text on coal seam gas entitled Coalbed Methane: Scientific, Environmental and Economic Evaluation.

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