Below is a fascinating article written in 1939 by John Johnston, who in 1926 would become the director of the first modern metals research facility at the U.S. Steel Corporation. I found this passage particularly interesting:
How long would it take for a people, reasonably well provided with metallurgical and engineering knowledge but entirely without metal of any kind, set down in an isolated land endowed with all necessary metallurgical raw materials, to develop industry on a scale comparable to that in any of the developed nations?”
I highly recommend this paper!
Johnston, John. “Applications of Science to the Metallurgical Industry.” The Scientific Monthly, vol. 48, no. 6, 1939, pp. 493–503., www.jstor.org/stable/16680.