While the AFE countries, with the exception of Japan, may be considered as industrially undeveloped, their mineral production nevertheless occupies an important position, and, in some cases, even represents one of the major economic activities of the country. In most AFE countries, however, mining is confined to the excavation of ores, or, at most, to the refining or smelting of ores for export purposes. The development of mineral production, therefore, does not reflect accurately the progress of industrialization. However, there are close technical connections between mining and industry. Unlike the agricultural products, most minerals are used not to satisfy human wants directly but as industrial raw materials or power sources. The demand for minerals is, therefore, derived from the demand for industrial products. Technologically, moreover, the development of both mining and industry is conditioned by the development of scientific and engineering knowledge. Certain features too, are common to both occupations, such as the need for large capital investment, use of modern business methods, and the creation of a large wage-earning class. It is because of these resemblances that mining and industry, though basically different in nature, are treated as a combined subject in this chapter.

Related Subject(s): Economic and Social Development
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