These are 15 elements known as lanthanoids in the periodic table, plus scandium and yttrium; uses include wind turbines and hybrid car batteries. Despite the name, they’re not truly rare. And should a potential shortage justify toxic strip mining in the Black Hills National Forest? Now, a Canadian company, Rare Elements Resources, wants to open a strip mine within the Black Hills National Forest, in northeastern Wyoming and about 15 miles from Devils Tower National Monument. The Bear Lodge Mountains are said to be one of North America's best verified source of rare earths.Scared yet? The Rapid City Journal article didn't have any reader comments so here is the Billings Gazette:
Talk about rare earths mining has drawn little attention in Wyoming. But environmentalist Nancy Hilding, president of the Prairie Hills Audubon Society of western South Dakota, said mining companies often fail to protect groundwater as promised.No shit.
Acid mine drainage can kill or cause birth defects in the birds and mammals that happen into contaminated standing water on these sites. Senator John Barrasso and the other Earth raping Republicans are working overtime to defund environmental protection, especially on public lands.
The US is beginning to get religion on existing rare earth stocks; we have more buried in landfills than all other developed countries combined. Japan recovers most of her needs from waste streams:
Recent problems with Chinese supplies of rare earths have sent Japanese traders and companies in search of alternative sources, creating opportunities for Kosaka. This town’s hopes for a mining comeback lie not underground, but in what Japan refers to as urban mining — recycling the valuable metals and minerals from the country’s huge stockpiles of used electronics like cellphones and computers.Montana's Lemhi Pass area in the Bitterroot Mountains is also being surveyed for rare earth deposits.