NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Lunar resource evaluation and mine site selectionTwo scenarios in this evaluation of lunar mineral resources and the selection of possible mining and processing sites are considered. The first scenario assumes that no new surface or near-surface data will be available before site selection (presumably one of the Apollo sites). The second scenario assumes that additional surface geology data will have been obtained by a lunar orbiter mission, an unmanned sample return mission (or missions), and followup manned missions. Regardless of the scenario, once a potentially favorable mine site has been identified, a minimum amount of fundamental data is needed to assess the resources at that site and to evaluate its suitability for mining and downstream processing. Since much of the required data depends on the target mineral(s), information on the resource, its beneficiation, and the refining, smelting, and fabricating processes must be factored into the evaluation. The annual capacity and producing lifetime of the mine and its associated processing plant must be estimated before the resource reserves can be assessed. The available market for the product largely determines the capacity and lifetime of the mine. The Apollo 17 site is described as a possible mining site. The use of new sites is briefly addressed.
Document ID
Document Type
Bence, A. Edward
(Exxon Mineral Co. Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Johnson Space Center, Space Resources. Volume 3: Materials
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
No Preview Available