Skip to comments.Boeing launches search for crucial rare earth elements
Posted on 09/20/2010 9:10:05 PM PDT by smokingfrog
Minerals, facing shortage, are key for military hardware, cell phones.
Boeing has signed a deal to deploy remote sensing technology to map out U.S. deposits of rare earth elements.
The rare earth family of minerals is the real-life version of the precious element "unobtanium" in James Cameron's movie "Avatar." They are used to make everything from military hardware to humble cell phones, but could soon be in short supply as worldwide demand outstrips mining production in China.
The aerospace and defense giant announced today that it will confirm rare earth mining claims held by U.S. Rare Earths, Inc. at locations in Idaho and Montana and also aid in the search for new deposits.
"Theyre very interested in finding and validating domestic reserves," said Patrick Kennedy, public relations coordinator for U.S. Rare Earths.
This marks the latest step in a global race to hunt down rare earth deposits. China currently supplies as much as 97 percent of the world's rare earth oxides, but has recently taken steps to cut back on exports and feed the growing demands of its own industries.
New rare earth mines in the U.S., Australia, Canada and South Africa won't start up until at least 2014, based on industry estimates. But major corporations such as General Electric and Toyota have begun quietly moving to secure their own supplies in case of a shortfall.
Early lab analyses by Boeing have confirmed "light" and scarcer "heavy" rare earth elements in samples from the U.S. Rare Earths holdings.
One of the highest concentrations of rare earth elements appeared in a previously unannounced deposit staked out at North Fork, Idaho. Surveys showed about 5.8 percent rare earth elements on average within the deposit's rocks, said Ed Cowle, CEO of U.S. Rare Earths.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
Praise the Praseodymium.
I thought that we had the minerals but we closed our mines?
The article’s author misspelled unobtainium.
LOL! They are F’ed. Chinese got there already.
The left said that we did not need to worry about shortages of rare earth metals. The only shortages will be for evil petroleum.
I’m hoping for some Democrat unobtanium in Nov.
A honest democrat?
Won’t matter, EPA will declare them off limits.
i thought they found the mother load of rare earths in afghanistan recently.
short supply as worldwide demand outstrips mining production in China.
Right, tell it to a democrat
they’ll believe anything!
The EnviroNazi left will fight tooth and nail to stop any mining of this, funded by the folks who do control the supply, China.
Unless of course, it’s owned by a bunch of Connected Dems, like the Only U.S> mine now is!
They did find some strategic minerals over there, but I’m not sure exactly what. Supposed to be worth in the neighborhood of a trillion dollars. (Heck, 0bama could spend that in a couple of weeks.)
Obamatanium. Stops an economy dead in its tracks.
I`m rarin` to go find `em!
Pelosium—black hole dense!
Aggragate material found mainly in concentrated stupidity welfare mines and DC.
North Fork, ID — upper reaches of the Salmon River in the northern Sawtooths. Hmmm