The $2 Million Coal Mine That Might Hold a $37 Billion Treasure
They’ve found rare earths in the coal mine. A layer of ionic clay above and below the coal bed in fact.
Except, well……there’s nothing at all to indicate this is a special coal bed. So, assume that there really are lots of rare earths here. Well then, that means lots of rare earths in many coal beds. Or, they ain’t rare.
And, well, most coal does contain some rare earths. We’ve known that for decades. The point is always “How much?”.
Ah. So about 10% of the level of other ionic clays that people are exploiting for rare earths. And, well, 10%? That might not be economic at all. Maybe, you know. Just the level of cost of getting it out might be more than the value of what is extracted. Or, alternatively, if they can extract profitably at those levels then rare earths really are not rare – because that’s not, from memory at least, an unusual content level for a coal bed. So they’re really, really, not rare.