Conservation of mineral resources:
Mineral reserves are present in a limited quantity and they can be exhausted. At the present rate of consumption many of them will not last long. Conservation means that there should be judicious use with minimum wastage. One way of minimizing or reducing wastage is recovering as much as possible and leaving nothing as waste. The quality of lower grade ore can be improved by processes which remove undesirable materials like earth, rock etc. and give enriched ore. As described in the previous part, scrap of used metals can be recycled or used again. This will reduce the pressure of demand on many mineral reserves.
The alloys of magnesium are fast replacing steel and are also reducing the demand for copper, lead and tin which are in short supply. There is a need to find substitutes for metals like mercury, gold, silver, platinum etc. and also for asbestos. Further, the natural environment of the area from where the mineral ores have been taken out needs to be protected from deterioration. The dug out parts are devoid of nutrients. Hence, they remain barren and do not allow the growth of any vegetation. Such waste or damaged lands can be covered by fresh topsoil. Use of fertilisers, sewage water, domestic or municipal waste, farmyard manure, etc. will help in restoring the fertility of these degraded lands.