Not only are all minerals limited resources, but mining is one of the most polluting of all industries. Extracting raw materials including minerals from the earth damages waterways, contributes to air pollution and hazardous waste. Mines are commonly abandoned once the mineral deposits are exhausted, in which case the companies who have profited declare bankruptcy to avoid responsibility for clean up.
Minerals, just like other resources should be conserved. It is much better to conserve and use resources efficiently because it reduces the amount of mining required to attain resources such as minerals. Conservation is just one part of many that make up a sustainable society. Conservation of resources encourages recycling and efficient use of those resources.
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