In April of this year I posted an article on how rare earth elements are the choke point in the batteries used in hybrid and electrical vehicles. Without these elements the batteries would be little better than the lead acid car batteries we now have. Rare earths are also in every rechargeable battery you can think of like your cell phone and laptop.
China has 95% of the known concentrated deposits of rare earth elements on the planet. China has raised the price per kilogram on one of these elements from $15 in 2009 to $500 in 2011. Another element that’s used in halide lamps and lasers went from $114 in 2010 to $2,830 in 2011. This kind of resource control could put a real crimp in the United States’ energy technology development and production.
Well, lo and behold, scientists and commercial investigators have found that in the old tailings from mines in the western US contain potentially high concentrations of several rare earth elements. The final assessments are yet to come in but this may be a way for the US to temporarily get around China’s monopoly of rare earth’s. Follow the link below for more information.
Think Global – Act Local