These bodies are thought to be rich in resources that
are increasingly hard to find on Earth: platinum, for instance, and
rare-earth elements such as yttrium and lanthanum.
Lanthanum? Hard to find?
It sells for half its cost of production.
Given that we dont know much about the precise composition of most
asteroids, we have to rely on estimates of their monetary value. The
Asterank database, owned by Planetary Resources since 2013, collates
data from NASAs Jet Propulsion Lab and Harvards Minor Planet Center.
By its reckoning, the five most easily reached asteroids are worth
between $8 billion and $95 billion.
They’re worth nothing.
What’s the cost of mining them? Higher than the revenue you say? They’ve a negative value then, don’t they?
Cosmic cartels could also be a problem: the high costs of entry to the
business plus a lack of regulation could create monopolies on an
unprecedented scale. If you could put a factory in space and have it
print copies of itself, output could grow exponentially until you have
an industry millions of times bigger than any industry on Earth, says
Metzger. So space enterprise could vastly enrich a few at the expense
of the rest, fuelling inequality.
Eh? If you can make a Von Neuman factory then absolutely every single sodding human being is as rich as Croesus about 6 months later. What fucking inequality?