Mother Earth is made up of numerous elements and contains many different materials. Most of these are found deep underground. It concerns commodities or base products that can be used for the manufacture of end products. The Earth is actually one great collection of commodities, but, because of excessive use, supply of raw materials may run out one day. In other words, Earth might get exhausted. Because of exploitation, underground supplies of, for example, gold, copper and zinc are decreasing.

The Earth’s core has a diameter of almost 7000 kilometres (4350 miles) and consists primarily of iron and nickel. These elements are therefore present in abundance. With each commodity, the question is whether it can be found on the surface or only deep down. In the case of the latter, it is virtually impossible to mine these materials with relatively simple techniques.

Lots of commodities are used to make end products. Like a black-box, commodities go in one end of the factory and roll off the production line at the other end as ready-to-use products. Commodities are necessary for the manufacture of all products.

Any random car, for example, is made up of all sorts of steel and iron and, next, synthetic material or plastic. Besides, there is some rubber and glass. Furthermore, oils, grease and gasses are part of the total. Aluminium, non-ferriferous metals and lead complete the whole thing.

Another example concerns computers. These are mainly made up of ferriferous metals, plastics non-ferriferous metals (like lead, cadmium and mercury), glass and precious metals (gold, silver, palladium and platinum).

In addition, a lot of energy is needed for the end production or the assembly of semi-manufactured products. This can be supplied in different forms; the most usual are electricity and fossil fuels. The manufacture of steel actually requires so much energy that, dependent on the actual price level, a big trunk of the total cost comes from energy consumption, maybe being even more significant than the cost for iron ore.