posted on Feb, 22 2006 @ 07:00 PM
Let's try to brain-storm but keep it real at the same time.
First off, Mars has a fairly mafic surface composition but has a fairly felsic crust (much more felsic than the Earth as percentages go).
But with a lack of hydrothermal activity; profitable metals (assuming that the Earth does have a significant supply of other useful metals such as
Iron, Copper, Tin, Aluminum) such as Silver, Gold, and Platinum will not be concentrated much and thus won't be very accessable.
I won't rule out useful metals and minerals to mine on Mars for export but I think in large part Mars is not profitable.
Thus I think the economic benefits of Mars is as a "trading port" for mining operations of the Asteroid Belt (where some Asteroids have as much as
30 trillion dollars worth of Gold in them).
The valuable and readily accessible metals in this belt would be beneficial to humanity both industrially and aesthetically.
Thus, Mars would be the location of concentration of these ores.
The way I see it is due to its distance in the Solar System an Mining/Ore-transport ship would tranist from Earth to Mars, and then from Mars to its
target location in the Asteroid Belt.
From there, the ship will perform its task for approximately two Earth years or approximately one Martian year, where the Ship then returns to Martian
orbit (and is supplied and maintained and crew may even have shore-leave etc.) until a window for Trans-Earth Injection comes about.
This I think is the most profitable aspect for Colonizing Mars...other than this I see no benefits in even going there (we'll have to explore it more
thuroughly I think to determine this for a fact).