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Businesses Earth Technology

California Rare-Earth Mine Reopens 244

Posted by kdawson
from the antimony-arsenic dept.
burnin1965 writes in to let us know that the looming crisis in rare-earth materials (which we have discussed recently) has prompted Molycorp, the erstwhile operator of a California mine closed in 2002, to announce plans to reopen it. "With increasing prices on rare earth ore, tariffs raised by the Chinese government, and the threat of embargoes that would damage United States high-tech manufacturing Molycorp now has the needed incentive to reopen the California Mountain Pass mine. They will spend the capital needed to implement badly needed updates to environmental controls that will mitigate the radioactive waste water releases that plagued the mine in the past. Chinese imports in the 90s nearly halved ore prices and the California mine experienced multiple failures in environmental controls that resulted in the release of huge volumes of radioactive waste water. Updating the mine to address the environmental issues was not financially viable due to the cheap Chinese imports so it was closed in 2002." Within two years the mine could be producing 20% of the amount of rare earths we import from China.
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California Rare-Earth Mine Reopens

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  • Re:Good! (Score:3, Funny)

    by matthewncohen (1166231) on Monday December 27, 2010 @01:10PM (#34677710)
    Finally, someone bringing radioactive waste water releases back to America!
  • by arcite (661011) on Monday December 27, 2010 @01:23PM (#34677806)
    The more we mine them, the less rare they will be. Doesn't this defeat the purpose? .... ;)
  • Re:Good! (Score:4, Funny)

    by spun (1352) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `yranoituloverevol'> on Monday December 27, 2010 @01:34PM (#34677886) Journal

    I am trying to bring a Rare Earths Elements Company online (I have two mineral resources right herre in the U.S. ....But sadly, I can't find funding to start operations.

    Wait a second, I call shenanigans. We gave all kinds of tax breaks to the rich, just so they would have money to invest in things like this. Are you trying to tell me the rich aren't investing in American businesses? Next you are going to tell me that rather than funding businesses here, they are investing it all in foreign corporations in countries with cheaper labor and no environmental laws.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 27, 2010 @01:46PM (#34677978)

    I've always preferred my Earth Material medium-rare.

  • by ILuvRamen (1026668) on Monday December 27, 2010 @01:49PM (#34678014)
    I have a feeling that they're banking on China getting mad that the US will have a significant mine. If they say "Oh, you want to make your own? Fine, BANHAMMER!" and stop all rare earth exports, that mine will turn into the sole source for the US and they can charge whatever they want. If they start getting materials and China doesn't do anything different, the US company still has to compete with China's current prices which aren't THAT high right now. It's all just theoretical that China could skyrocket the prices if they wanted to. So since they won't make much money otherwise, they definitely have to be speculating that China will try to retaliate and it will work in their favor.
  • Re:Good! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 27, 2010 @02:01PM (#34678160)
    DEAR MR. FRANK_TUDOR, MY NAME IS NIMBU-ADAMINABI, I AM THE SON OF THE LATE FORMER DIRECTOR OF RARE EARTH MINING, EXECUTIVE MBUDAH-ADAMINABI OF THE NIGERIA RARE EARTH MINING COMPANY. DUE TO POLITICAL REASONS, MY MINING COMPANY, ESTIMATED TO BE WORTH IN EXCESS OF 78 MILLION DOLLARS, CAN NO LONGER OPERATE IN COUNTRY AND IS IN NEED OF ASSISTANCE TO BE RELOCATED TO THE USA FOR START UP. WE ARE WILLING TO FUND STARTING OPERATIONS FOR YOUR COMPANY, BUT REQUIRE ASSISTANCE TO LIQUIDATE AND TRANSFER THE 78 MILLION DOLLARS IN ASSETS OUT OF THE COUNTRY. ALL I NEED FROM YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IS:

    1) YOUR BANK NAME
    2) ACCOUNT NAME
    3) ACCOUNT NUMBER
    4) BANK ADDRESS, TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBERS TO ENABLE ME TO TRANSFER THE 78 MILLION DOLLARS INTO YOUR ACCOUNT.

    AS COMPENSATION FOR YOUR SERVICE, I AM OFFERING 20% OF THE ASSETS OF THE MINING COMPANY, I REALLY WANT TO INVEST IN YOUR COMPANY AS IT IS LOCATED IN A STABLE GOVERNMENT, SOCIAL, AND ECONOMICAL REGION. TO PROVE MY TRUSTWORTHINESS, I HAVE ATTACHED A COPY OF THE ASSET CERTIFICATE FROM THE BANK OF ADIJUBA IN NIGERIA WITH A LIST OF ALL COMPANY ASSETS. MY LATE FATHER CALLED ME TO HIS BEDSIDE BEFORE HIS CALL TO GLORY (R.I.P) THAT I SHOULD PRAY TO GOD FOR FIRST, BEFORE FINDING A PARTNER IN THE WONDERFUL COUNTRY OF USA. GOD GUIDED ME TO YOU AND HELPED ME AVOID EVIL MINDED AND GREEDY PEOPLE WHO MIGHT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ME AND MY COMPANY.

    THANKS AND GOD BLESS.

    BEST REGARDS,

    NIMBU-ADAMINABI (NREMC)

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