Skip to comments.U.S. may be sitting on a gold mine in rare earth elements
Posted on 08/06/2013 1:50:02 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Early miners digging for gold, silver and copper had no idea what riches would be found alongside in the piles of dirt and rocks. There's a new rush in the United States to find key components of cell phones, televisions, weapons systems, wind turbines, MRI machines and the regenerative brakes in hybrid cars and old mine tailings. These byproducts could very well contain minerals the periodic table calls rare earth elements.
"Uncle Sam could be sitting on a gold mine," Larry Meinert, director of the mineral resource program for the U.S. Geological Survey says.
Both the USGS and Department of Energy are on a nationwide scramble for deposits of the elements that make magnets lighter, bring balanced hues to fluorescent lighting and color to the touch screens of Smartphones. To do so would break the monopoly the Chinese has one these supplies.
Researchers discovered critical elements could be in plain sight in piles of rubble usually dismissed as worthless junk, in an example of one era's junk becoming this era's treasure.
"Those were almost never analyzed for anything other than what they were mining for," Meinert said. "If they turn out to be valuable that is a win-win on several fronts - getting us off our dependence on China and having a resource we didn't know about."
Fifteen rare earth elements were discovered after the gold rush died down. Demand for these elements only increased over the past 10 years as electronic devices became smaller and more sophisticated.....
(Excerpt) Read more at catholic.org ...
EPA will shut that mining down in a week or two.
the chicoms aint gonna like this
looks like it’s back to chop stix exportation..
From what I’m reading they’re all over, but only China has the processes and the will to use the toxic chemicals to leech them out. That’s why they control 95% of them, not geography so much. We have BANANA, which took the place of NIMBY.
America has plenty of rare earth deposits. It has only one semi-working mine - I seem to remember this is due to onerous regulation.
We can't blame China for America's apparent inability to mine its own minerals.
Japanese researchers revealed on Thursday that they have discovered a possible rich source of rare earths on the Pacific seabed. The data they recovered suggests that the deposits could be 30 times better than Chinas reserves, currently the source of 90% of the worlds supply of rare earths.
Isn’t that headline a mixed metaphor? Or just a pleonasm?
There must be one heck of a tailing pile out at that huge old gold mine called Homestead...? Think it’s Homestead, in maybe South Dakota. Try a google earth flyover, that is a major big hole! As I understand there are layers and layers of tunnels too. Would take a long long time to sift through all of that.
Coal wash plants back in the 50s and 60s were unable to capture the minus quarter inch fine coal. Dozens of ponds full of fine coal were left behind in southern and central Illinois. In the 1980s, many of these ponds were reprocessed and the coal fines were recovered and sold.
A lot of old mine tailings piles have a treasury trove of overlooked minerals such as rare earths. Once someone else spent time and money to mine it the first time, re-processing tailings is a snap, depending of course on the process necessary to extract the overlooked minerals.
This demonstrates another value of capitalism. Capitalists are always looking for a better way to add value through innovation, instead of waiting on gubmit to do it for us.
The problem isn’t finding the stuff or getting it out of the ground, it’s refining it. The Chinese don’t care about pollution, that’s why they have the market cornered. (At least that’s my understanding of matters.)
Yep, Homestead is in Lead, SD. Now shut down. It was loosely the storyline basis for the HBO Series Deadwood and kept producing gold until a few years ago.
There are so many tailings piles to re-process, Homestead being just one of them.
Friends made millions doing this, but the value was not really from the recovered coal fines and instead was from the huge tax credits, expiring several years back.
“Isnt that headline a mixed metaphor? Or just a pleonasm?”
Now I know why you are lonesome in Mass, using words like that. I had thought about pleonasms, I just had not realized there was a name for them. But then, again, many of you FReepers are so darned intelligent, I feel like a one year old living in a Latin only world, while my parents speak only penguinese. :-)
Sorta a combination of dispensing snark and showing off...
Here you go: “Japanese scientists have found vast reserves of rare earth metals on the Pacific seabed” http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3000427/posts
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.