They say humans would need to mine 1% of moons mass to have an effect on earth's gravitational pull.

Since the moon is 1.2% of the size of earth (tiny) & the minerals mined on the moon will be removed from the moon, is it in the realm of possibility that humans could achieve that 1% mass reduction, via mining?

Humans have mined a fair amount on earth - but most of it stays on earth

There's no direct answer from -Google search -on how much of earth's mass has been mined, I'm unable to do calculations in comparison to moon's mass, hense asking this question on your website

  • $\begingroup$ that 1% is more mass than all of the water on earth. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 31 at 5:15

1 Answer 1


The mass of the Moon is 0.07346 × 1024 kg (or 7.346 × 1022 kg). One percent of that is 7.346 × 1020 kg, or 7.346 × 1019 tonnes.

If you consider iron ore alone, global production in 2023 was 2.544 billion tonnes (2.544 × 10 9).

Global production of coal in 2021 was 7.574 billion tonnes. Combined with iron the total is in excess of 10 billion tonnes. These two items are the two that are mined in such quantities globally. In 2020 total global production of minerals was just under 18 billion tonnes.

Mining production only increases with time. Humans have not come close to mining one percent the mass of the Moon.

The other thing to consider is that not all that is mined is useful; some of it is waste that needs to be mined to get what is wanted. This is particularly the situation with open pit mining where, depending on the commodity, orebody geometry and depth and mining parameters such as slope angle and catch bench widths and haul road widths more waste can be mined that the mineral desired. The waste material would stay on the Moon as waste or spoil dumps and the waste from processing plants would be stored in tailing dumps.


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