When the dust settles, 170-ton dumper trucks close in to scoop up the rocks. They are taken to refineries where rare-earth metals – known in the mining industry as \’unobtainiums\’ because they are so scarce – will be extracted using boiling acid and other toxic chemicals.
Trust the Mail to get such a thing wrong. The point about rare earths is that they are not rare.
And no, the mining industry does not refer to them as \”unobtanium\”. Rare earths perhaps, lanthanides perhaps, possibly even Cerium, Lanthanum and so on.