Rare earth mountains and Federal supply chain assistance ?

A bloombergbusinessweek article (Oct 31-Nov 6, 2011, pg 85) describes a private company’s attempt to mine rare earths from the Bokan montain in Alaska. The mountain represents the highest purity source of rare earths in the US.  But China represents 97% of the world’s of rare earths, and thus owns most of the supply chain including rare earth metals separation, creating alloys, manufacturing magnets etc – all crucial value added steps required to extract and use the metals from the ground. Given its strategic importance, from defense to sustainable energy, should the Federal government subsidize creation of the supply chain? Should defense contract commitments for output be used to finance operations ? Should environmental laws for mining be relaxed to enable national priorities to be met ?

About aviyer2010

This entry was posted in Global Contexts, Supply Chain Issues, Sustainability and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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