Financial Feasibility Analysis on Asteroid Mining
My thesis is built around identifying key elements that are we are running out of on Earth but are found in high quantity up in space. I chose rare earth elements as they are increasing in usage on a rate of 10% per year with an already established limited supply. I then used research from Professor Elroy from the university of Carlton to identify what the cost of an autonomous self-replicating mining facility. This was then utilized to find what the return on investment would be for mining each of those elements. I then averaged the profits between all the elements and accounting for inflation and subsidies totaled the value to identify after how many years it would take for the investment to start profiting. I then came up with a second analysis based on the four most profitable rare earth elements and what the rate of return would be if they were exclusively mined. As such my analysis concluded that the year Asteroid mining would become profitable would be in 2045 which lined up with when for national security reason it would become necessary to find alternative sources of crucial elements.