Skip to comments.Significant Source of Rare Earth Elements Found in Nebraska
Posted on 08/10/2011 10:41:54 AM PDT by greatplains
US lawmakers are growing impatient to break Chinas monopoly on global production of rare earth elements (REEs), a handful of minerals essential to the manufacture of high-tech gadgets and critical to the development of many new green technologies.
REEs are actually more abundant than many commonplace industrial metals. In fact, back in 2010, the US Geological Survey (USGS) released a report revealing that 13 million metric tons of rare earths exist within known deposits in 14 US states.
However, REEs are typically very difficult to extract. Consequently, the US has not mined REEs in more than a decade, and now we are completely (100 percent) dependent on foreign sources for REEs, 97 percent of which are provided by China.
Fortunately, there are new signs that perhaps this trend may be beginning to reverse its course.
Late last month, Canada-based Quantum Rare Earths Developments Corp. released preliminary results from test drilling in Elk Creek, Nebraska, where the company says it has found significant proportions of REEs and niobium.
According to USGS, the Elk Creek site, located south-east of Lincoln, NE, has the potential to be one of the largest resources of niobium and rare earth elements in the world. This find could lead to renewed domestic mining and a decrease in our dependence on foreign sources of REEs.
From the Quantum website:
Quote: The rare earth elements are essential for a diverse and expanding array of high-technology applications, which constitute an important part of the industrial economy of the United States. Long-term shortage or unavailability of REE would force significant changes in many technological aspects of American society. Domestic REE sources, known and potential, may therefore become an increasingly important issue for scientists and policymakers in both the public and private sectors.
As The Washington Times reports, the only people more excited than Quantum may be the 112 residents of Elk Creek, where nearly one in seven people live under the poverty line, but whose economy has been booming ever since the company showed up late last year to start laying the groundwork for a possible mining bonanza.
The “Nebraska Rare Earth Elements Rush” just doesn’t have the same ring to it as the “California Gold Rush”, does it?
Don’t worry, the EPA will ban their extraction, all in the name of “saving the environment”.
The EPA will sabotoge this.
Yeah if the government let’s us use them.
The [insert name of any geographic location here*] biosphere is a uniquely significant environment, with an extraordinarily fragile ecosystem supporting both plants and animals found nowhere else on earth.
This is the last place an ecologically responsible government would want to destroy, say environmental activists.
There, I’ve practically drafted Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s talking points for him, and it took under two minutes. All he has to do is plug in the name.
Lawmakers?! want REEs to be mined here in the USA? Is government leading private industry into a pit again?
[ Dont worry, the EPA will ban their extraction, all in the name of saving the environment. ]
Quantum is a Canadian Based Company so they have better changes, granted they are at 50-50 but it is far better than an American Company who would have a 0% Chance....
Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and other surrounding states have significant REE deposits and the EPA is blocking their extraction.
On the drive (on I-15) to Las Vegas you can see a big mine about 10 miles west of the Nevada state line. I know it mines rare earth minerals, but don’t know much more.
Anybody know anything about this mine (on mountain pass road?)?
A new rare snail darter will be discovered along with a colony of endangered North American spotted ferret bats, making this entire area off limits to humans.
Your are dang right the EPA will do that.
The saving grace is that nobody in DC can find Nebraska on a map.
“Hey! We promised the Chinese a monopoly on REE! You can’t mine those! You’ll endanger a... uh... a rare grasshopper! That’s the ticket! A grasshopper!”