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Elements: Iron and Industrialisation

April 1st, 2015

Episode 203 of 836 episodes

Iron is the chemical element at the heart of steel, and by extension of industrialisation, so what does the collapse in iron ore prices say about the economic progress of China and India? In the last of three programmes looking at this most abundant of metals, Justin Rowlatt asks whether the steel-making party is over, or whether a new one is just about to begin. And if, one day, humanity can stop digging this element up altogether. To find the answers, he speaks to material flow analyst Prof Daniel Beat Muller, sceptical China economist Andy Xie, Andrew Harding of the world's second biggest iron ore miner Rio Tinto, and Ravi Uppal who heads Jindal Steel of India.

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