Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hewers of gold; drawers of oil

Two charts here about Canada's mining industry.

First up gold mining, both by weight and dollar value, from 1998 to 2012. The chart has been touched up, but originally is found here (pdf).

Gold production has fallen off, but this has more than been made up for by rising prices. Canada has been pretty lucky, although I wonder how 2013 would look on this chart.

The source material includes graphs of mining production and value for several other metals, and in most cases actual production has fallen while the value has increased. God bless inflation!

Secondly, Canada's balance of trade in the mining sector up to 2012.

And we see that while Canada is doing well in mineral extraction and primary manufacturing (ingots and rolled products), we need to import ever greater values of fabricated products. This is somewhat alarming, as the last country that got wealthy doing this was . . . well, I can't think of one just now.

One thing going for us is that with the recent higher prices for metals of the past several years, the overall balance of trade has increased. But seeing as the increase in value is not due to increased production, but increased price, and as production in many commodities has fallen over the last fifteen years, our only real hope may be deindustrialization.

It is tempting to blame all this on the Conservatives, but the trend was set in motion long before the beginning of the above data set.

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