Mammoth Mining – The concept
The Mammoth Mining concept grew out of a fundamental drive to to save the elephant. To save the elephant deploying the world’s natural resources to provide a long-term sustainable solution. Ultimately the answer presented itself in the most virtuous of circles – use the elephant (or rather its ancient ancestors) to save the elephant.
By professionally mining mammoth tusks, valuable ivory can be made available onto the open market. This ivory substitutes ivory that would otherwise be taken from elephants and it creates a long lasting income stream from which profits can be used to invest into elephant conservation.
Critics of the concept will cite fuelling interest in ivory as a reason not to release mammoth ivory onto the market. This argument is weak; a legitimate substitute that has the aesthetic merit of elephant ivory without any of the ethical issues can satisfy demand without risk to the elephant. Ivory, like diamonds and other revered natural substances, will always be in demand the key is to maintain its value and desirability whilst releasing the elephant from threat.
Elephant conservation is a key part of the equation, but not everything. The benefits of the concept embrace the communities within the tusk bearing areas and also, scientific research.
The communities that currently mine tusks in a manner akin to early gold rush panning will benefit from the development of a secure, safe and sustainable industry. They will be trained in professional mining techniques, increasingly the ad hoc and erratic nature of their earnings will become more secure and predictable allowing them to plan for the future of their families particularly in terms of housing and education.
The increasing predictability of supply of mammoth ivory will mean that traders can start to rely upon its throughput and know they can satisfy customer demand. Customers will not need to delve into the black market of elephant ivory to fulfill their requirements.