ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes:Types of Industrial Location: Raw Materials and Location of industries 

  • From this calculation, a number of situations may arise:
  • \text{Raw Materials Index (RMI)} =\dfrac{\text{weight of raw materials}}{\text{weight of finished product}}
  • The formula used is
  • Industrialists calculate what is called the raw material index (RM index) to determine how raw materials will affect the location of their industries.
  • Main factors influencing industrial location will vary from industry to industry and from area to area as well as from country to country.
  • One of the factors that has to be considered is raw materials
  • If the RM index is greater than 1:
  • the industry will be raw material based in its location because the weight of the raw materials is greater than the weight of the finished product.
  • Such raw materials lose weight upon manufacture and so to cut down on transport costs of waste, the industry should locate at the raw material source.
  • For example, 7 tonnes of sugar cane produce about 1 tonne of sugar.
  • Hence it can be seen that sugar mills are located on sugar plantations such as the Hippo Valley mills.
  • Sugar can also lose weight upon processing.
  • Sugar cane is a perishable in that it loses its juice by evaporation and cracks and develops fungi if exposed to bad weather elements, going bad if not processed immediately after cutting.
  • A second situation may arise where the RM index is less than 1:
  • in which case the weight of the raw materials is less than that of the finished product.
  • For example, 1 tonne of maize, malt and hops combined make 8 tonnes of clear beer.
  • Industries like these become market oriented in location because it is cheaper to assemble raw materials at the market than to transport the finished products to distant markets.
  • Breweries and soft drinks factories are right within markets.
  • Situation number 3 is one where the RM index is equal to 1 :
  • That is where the weight of the raw materials is equal to that of the finished product.
  • Such industries will locate either at the raw material source or at the market or somewhere between the two.

To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page

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