Citizens of the Imperium

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aramis June 29th, 2019 03:18 PM


Originally Posted by atpollard (Post 603521)
When Spain began importing large quantities of Gold from the Americas to Europe, the price of gold fell. When vast deposits of silver reached the market in the late 20th century the price of silver plummeted.

The introduction of millions of tons of gold will not make one nation wealthy beyond belief, it will reduce the price of gold to a commodity like copper or aluminum.

If they simply hold it in reserve, yes, it will.

kilemall June 29th, 2019 04:05 PM

Perfect excuse for artificial supply 'management'- leave the rock in place. Oh it is so HARD to get the stuff back, etc.

The more interesting consequence to me is

A) heavy metals may be much cheaper in space then earth and so a lot of factories that can move to space for the cheap solar and material builds
B) whether the rock is mined in place or moved to near earth, there are people willing to go out there and steal, even if they aren't nations or megacorps. The usual response is guns. I wonder if the weapons provision of the OST gets ignored, enforced when convenient, or modified to avoid oribtal weapons platforms or moon rock drops.

jcrocker June 29th, 2019 05:28 PM

If the companies have to indulge in a little supply management to keep the prices up a bit, and earn back the high outlay, fair enough. One the industry matures a bit, the prices would come down through competition - and the space based metals can't jack the prices up too much while we still have supplies here on earth.

As for claim-jumping or theft, well, maybe the style will be for ships to have very robust laser communication systems, ones that could handle massive surges of power for short periods, in case of "interference".

Drakon June 29th, 2019 07:54 PM

Even in the modern day OPEC has a big problem maintaining oil prices at too high a level, and the addition of the material to the general economy will cause a big technical change.

What would a world be like when gold is pennies an ounce? When it is so abundant, that gold plated silverware is disposable? What kind of exotic alloys would we come up with?

atpollard June 29th, 2019 10:35 PM

You are expecting a Chinese vs EU vs USA trade war as they rush to exploit space and be the richest nation on the planet, but they will all work together with the large corporations to agree on self regulation to sustain an artificial shortage? That seems a pretty tall order.

I think you have a better chance of ending war and hunger than greed.

McPerth June 29th, 2019 10:49 PM

From my non-expert in economics POV:

Well, going for this gold (and other metals) is sure going to be quite expensive, and I guess if anyone (mostly if a commercial venture) goes to mine them, it will expect some profit from it. This profit should come from the commercialization of this wealth, but commercializing it will lower the prices…

OTOH; how can this profit be collected if they keep the gold (and other metals) hidden to avoid the prices plummeting?

This reminds me about a paradox about money I read time ago (translated from Catalan to the best of my capacity); If you have money and spend it, you don’t have it anymore; but if you have money and do not spend it, it’s as good as if don’t have it.

flykiller June 30th, 2019 12:12 AM


we don't know how it will work in practice
it won't. getting the equipment there is energy intensive, mining the material in a controlled manner is energy intensive, getting the material back to earth is energy intensive. it all adds up to more energy than can be brought to bear. can't do it.

flykiller June 30th, 2019 12:14 AM


The maritime international law explicitly applies.
it'll be more like pirates of the carribean in space.

Condottiere June 30th, 2019 04:27 AM

mike wightman June 30th, 2019 05:26 AM


Originally Posted by flykiller (Post 603542)
it won't. getting the equipment there is energy intensive, mining the material in a controlled manner is energy intensive, getting the material back to earth is energy intensive. it all adds up to more energy than can be brought to bear. can't do it.

Actually - it can be done. Solar panels can provide the energy. They can provide the energy for ion engines and plasma rockets, smelters, refineries, manufacturing. All we need to do is invest the money to make it possible. If western governments won't the Chinese will...

Not only that in a couple of decades it will have to be done or there will be no more smartphones, tablets, touchscreens...

Step one - get launch to orbit costs down. nearly done
Step two - build a moon base that can make fuel. In time expand the moon industry to solar panel and rocket production, then add nuclear power plant and rtg production. initial bases are already planned by several nations.
Step three - build an Earth orbital station to refuel rockets. do this while building your moon base
Step four - send robots to mine asteroids.

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