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"I think we could solve our problems more easily through strength of character; but that's always been a commodity in extremely short supply."
- Gregory Benford

Asteroid-Metal  
  Metal mined from asteroids.  

Sooner or later, humanity will need to go into space for more raw materials. The asteroid 16 Psyche is believed to contain enough iron-nickel ore to supply our annual needs for iron for about the next million years (it contains 1.7 times ten to the nineteenth kilograms).

"We can get our water from the pole, our food from the yeast vats, our building materials from the oxidized minerals in the sand... We can even fuel the space ships and mine the Asteroid Belt for rare metals..."

Lars raised himself on one elbow. "As things are now we depend on Earth to buy our asteroid-metal and supply things we can't do without.

From The Mechanical Monarch, by E.C. Tubb.
Published by Ace Books in 1958
Additional resources -

I don't know who first suggested the idea of mining the asteroids. The idea appears in science fiction by 1946, if not earlier, in Love Among the Robots by Emmett McDowell.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Mechanical Monarch
  More Ideas and Technology by E.C. Tubb
  Tech news articles related to The Mechanical Monarch
  Tech news articles related to works by E.C. Tubb

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