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names of precious natural resources?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:33 pm
by arkan
I'm about to try and write some stuff in the dropzone universe section, and I wanted to know, what natural resources would be of high strategic value in the dropzone universe?

I gathered that traditional things such as Uranium, Oil, coal, shale gas and precious metals might be obsolete by 2670, so what would be a good resource for factions to fight over? If there aren't any, what would be some good names for fictional strategic resources?

Re: names of precious natural resources?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:11 pm
by _ghost_
Hm.. I guess special metals could still be precious. Especially stuff like rare Earth Elements. Many of them are already used in key technologies. So I guess stuff like that will still be important. Also possible could be He3 as this is perhaps used for Fusion reactors. In both cases any place that Mounts huge amounts concentrated in One place and thus easy for cost efficient mining operations.
I think that even a n the far future our ancestors have to use Chemistry and such.

Re: names of precious natural resources?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:09 pm
by Klarg1
Hawk hasn't really told us much about the economics of the 27th century. Asteroid mining (or the lack thereof) would make a huge difference.

Asteroids contain a lot of base material, including iron and a host of rare-ish elements. Moving them to orbit for ship-construction requires much less energy than landing them on a planet, and then lifting them back up once processed (or lifting planet-sourced materials). On the other hand, all 4 major nations have pretty routine transport from surface to orbit, so maybe they don't care that much about efficiency?

That said, Transporting thousands of tonnes of raw material across interstellar distances has to be monumentally inefficient, so I have to assume most production sources 99% of all materials in-system, and only exports finished goods. (This would also give the UCM quite a bit of motivation for getting local production up and running in newly liberated systems, to avoid having to ship men and material there for support and defense.)

I would guess that rare elements are still valuable for the military-industrial complex for any species. The Scourge and UCM certainly seem to be producing military hardware as fast as they can. Even if control of multiple planets makes "rare" elements abundantly available, you will be limited by how fast you can extract them. If you need to sift through a whole mountain (or asteroid equivalent) to get a few kilograms of magic minerals, it probably takes some effort, no matter who you are.

Re: names of precious natural resources?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:43 pm
by Abrusio
Just look at some of the names of some of the UCM 12 planets : titania, wolfrum etc.

Those are the minerals the colonies were funded for, it ought to still be of some importance...

Re: names of precious natural resources?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:19 pm
by Neiloid
Since I recently binged on the official fluff.

Planets well suited to food production seem to be fairly high priority and since everyone so far is carbon based, more water is never a bad thing. But in terms of minerals, titanium is one of the few explicitly mentioned. Presumably rarer light isotopes like H2 and He3 are still of value for all that fusion everyone is using, the best bet for those may well be mining gas giants, the supply will be all but endless, but the orbital platforms would need plenty of protection and the low concentration would make separation of useful isotopes rather slow.
Other than that Tellurium, Rhodium, Ruthenium, Platinum, Gold, Iridium, Osmium, Rhenium, and Palladium are all very rare in the Earths crust (and presumably the surface layers of other decent sized planets) making asteroid mining or strategies to mine the core of rocky planets possible ways to get a larger abundance of these elements.
All the elements listed currently have a variety of industrial uses but ultimately there is no way of knowing how important various elements will be in a few centuries time. However due to the scale of the forces involved if even a small amount is needed in a component or during production you suddenly need a large supply.

Re: names of precious natural resources?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:29 pm
by Klarg1
Abrusio wrote:Just look at some of the names of some of the UCM 12 planets : titania, wolfrum etc.

Those are the minerals the colonies were funded for, it ought to still be of some importance...


Are they? Iron (Ferrum) seems like kind of a common substance to go settle a whole planet for. Aside from Granum, I kind of assumed the names were just thematic.

Re: names of precious natural resources?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:33 pm
by Brunius
'The Big Dozen' are thematic other than Aurum, which has a bunch of gold on it (pg70-71, DZC 1.1).

Ferrum has "immense wealth in natural resources", and is an industrial planet (think 40k Forge World)
Chromia is "the UCM's premier source of cobalt, molybdenum, osmium, palladium, platinum, rhenium, rhodium, and tungsten"
Maganum is a food world
Cuprum is highly populated, home of the manufacturers of Foldspace drives
Niccolum is the site of the shipyards, a massive gas giant. "Countless mineral rich rocks" are found in it's rings.
Stannum is a moon of Niccolum, exports mostly water and LOx
Platina is a tourist planet and source of many gems
Titania is a desert planet, with "considerable mineral wealth"
Aluminia is an ocean planet, and exports fish
Argenta "hosts a wide range of industries", and is one of the few planets with prexisting alien life
Wolfrum is a volcanic planet (think Mustafa or Io). It has "rivers of molten metal, surface deposits of rare minerals and chemical lakes"

Re: names of precious natural resources?

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:00 am
by Abrusio
Aurum : "the practice of naming frontier worlds after metallic elements was continued, although later names were allocated arbitrarily"

"Aurum is one of the oldest colonies" (but not the oldest)

spoilers if you haven't read the reconquests phase 1&2 background :

UCM is planning to bomb Europa in the solar system to deprive the Scourge from their source of pure water. (reconquest phase 2, p34)

UCM is trying to capture Eden VII for their Titanium mines, massively exploited by the Scourge (reconquest phase 1 p20).

Elysium Prime is a bread basket (reconquest phase 1 p6)

I don't have the time to list everything, almost every planet seems to possess one or more critical/very important resource that the UCM or the Scourge needs badly (or will need sooner of later). It makes sense that the battles are fought over these. What does the PHR and the Shaltari consider as critical resources is yet unknown, so they may be fighting for other reasons.

Considering the tone of the DZC universe I find it doubtful to have the appearance of some kind of unobtanium in the future that everybody would be fighting for.

Re: names of precious natural resources?

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:47 pm
by Hrimfaxi
Another precious resource that comes to mind is bodies. The Scourge love them some planets that are filled with viable bodies.