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Guest Thinkers

I Zinc This Is A Good Thing

See, the “joke” in the subject line works because the English language has words that sound alike, but with different meanings. Here I am “playing” on them, so to speak. Also, I just read that Yemen is investing in a $200 million zinc mine, apparently the first mine in Yemen. Output is projected to reach some 80,000 tons annually. A few quick thoughts.

1)I have no idea if that is a lot of zinc. Frankly, I am not even sure what one uses zinc for. I’m reasonably sure I have never purchased any.

2) I just read that zinc “also acts as a sacrificial anode in cathodic protection“, which leaves me even more confused and frankly a little scared. It all sounds very religious.

3) Regardless, there is a chance- albeit a small, laughable one- that simply because I don’t know something doesn’t mean it is unimportant. The important thing, of course, is the diversification of the economy. Even though this is only expected to create 400 direct jobs (mining, supervision) and 1800 indirect jobs (lodging, maintenance, food), it has the potential to add another wrinkle to the economy, which right now rests largely on shrinking oil reserves and tourists, the latter group being deliberately driven away by alQaeda. Coupled with the oil investments below, I’d say this is a good start to the week for Yemen. It is too early to tell- and clearly these are medium-to-long term strategies which could be undermined with the next explosion- but the country’s staggering walk along the brink seems to have focused some thought.


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