Rare Earth Elements Discovered In The Bitterroots

Rare Earth Elements Discovered In The Bitterroots

"With names like neodymium and praseodymium, you might not be very familiar with these elements, but the reality is they are indispensable in the creation of things that you use on a daily basis."

They’re in your car, your headphones, your lightbulbs, your smartphone, your washing machine – and they might even be in your ski bindings or fly rod.

What exactly am I referring to? A group of 17 elements with unique magnetic, luminescent and catalytic properties, known as Rare Earth Elements (REEs). With names like neodymium and praseodymium, you might not be very familiar with these elements, but the reality is they are indispensable in the creation of things that you use on a daily basis.

With these elements being so vital to the modern American economy, you might expect the U.S. to control a large portion of the REE supply chain, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. As of last year, China controls 63% of global REE mining and 85% of REE processing.

In Frontier Tech & Policy Analyst, Chris Isaacs’ latest column, he explains the precarious position this places the U.S.

“At the height of the Trump Administration’s trade negotiations, China’s leaders and state media floated the idea of implementing an export ban on the U.S., a plan that would have devastated the American economy. Without a reliable source of REEs, US high-tech manufacturing would face supply chain disruptions, skyrocketing costs and production delays that would make the post-COVID chip shortage look quaint by comparison.”

But as we have previously discussed, with the discovery of Rare Earth Elements on the U.S. Critical Materials’ Sheep Creek property in the Bitterroot Mountains, America could be on track to start receiving serious benefits, enabling our nation to bolster national security, assist in leveling the playing field with China and increase the supply of available REEs to American manufacturers.

“A few decades ago, the U.S. was highly dependent on foreign oil, but American innovation and ingenuity made the U.S. energy independent again. The shale gas revolution made the U.S. the world’s top oil and gas producer. This same innovation and ingenuity can make American REE independent and own the future.”

Stay tuned for Chris’ third column as he will unpack what the discovery in the Bitterroots means for Montana & the environment.

For Liberty,
Tanner Avery

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