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There are a number of different minerals we can get rare earths from – xenotime, bastnaesite, monazite and so on, but those are old school. The important source is called “ionic clay”. This is what China gets many of its rare earths from. In fact most of the really fancy magnet metals all come from China and from this mineral. You can get lanthanides from other minerals in other places, but it’s a lot more expensive.

We used to think – until maybe two years ago – that only China had ionic clay. That’s why we were all stuck with their control of the market. They had the cheapest, richest (much the same thing in mining) deposits. If we were going to break free, we’d just have to have subsidies so that suppliers outside China could compete on price.

6 thoughts on “Elsewhere”

  1. O/T
    “Thousands” of British citizens are “trapped in Khartoum” and the British government is being criticised for not making it easy to evacuate them.
    They are no doubt oil workers, aid volunteers, mining prospectors (for whom their employers should have contingency plans in place) or tourists (insurance, ditto). Or they might be formerly local landlords on a debt collecting mission, or even participants in the civil war.
    With her local contacts and mastery of racial discrimination no doubt Nesrine could enlighten us ignorant gammons as to the make up of these “thousands”.

  2. Must admit, Tim that I’d always thought that the problem with rare earths was their affinity for thorium. Thus anyone who dug them up was left with a huge heap of radioactive waste. The heathen Chinee had better sense.

    As for the thousands in Khartoum philip, I do wonder how many are Nesrine’s relatives.

  3. Another deposit of REE has been found in North Dakota:

    Samples of lignite coal and mudstones from the lower aspects of Bear Den Member were noted to contain up to 2,570 parts per million rare earth elements — which is believed to be the highest spot concentration ever reported from North American coal deposits (far exceeding the threshold of 300 per million in most areas considered ‘economic’). Enriched concentrations of critical minerals including cobalt, gallium, germanium, and lithium were also present in these samples.

    This also has the beauty that you can mine coal at the same time.

  4. Yep Mohave Greenie. I’d guess the fact that they’d produce coal at the same time is a super strong reason for the woke and the wonderful to violently oppose mining the stuff.

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