The new land of the Americas was populated partly because of the gold rush.
The Chinese paid for the US Afghan war in exchange for 1 trillion $ copper deposits. The Chinese also struck a deal with North Korea to dig 6 trillion $ rare earth metals. The Russians have a trillion $ diamond deposit under one of their asteroids.
There is going to be a race for rare earth metals and possible return to a commodity backed currency regime around the world. It might even take us to space, and depreciate fiat currencies which do not allow for citizens holding on to commodities.