You heard about that $5.4 trillion asteroid that just went whizzing past Earth right? Scientists believe that it had a core of platinum inside it's rocky exterior. Tons and tons of platinum, enough to solve every debt or monetary problem on Earth. But it's not that simple. While it may have contained close to 100 tons of platinum, just how do we go about getting it? The cost of putting probes into space that can bring it back could be prohibitive.
Conservative estimates put the cost of getting one ton of precious metals out of any given asteroid at $10 million and of course that would vary depending on the size and shape of the asteroid. The technology to get into near Earth orbit, somehow land on or otherwise wrestle an asteroid into our control and then mine it for whatever it might contain isn't even a certainty yet. While NASA researchers have some potential plans, mining space objects is still a far away goal. In the meantime, there are hundreds, if not thousands more asteroids that will come flying by Earth. Chances are that eventually we will figure out how to get what we need from them.