US claims discovery of rare Earth elements from e-junk

U.S. has claimed to discover rare earth elements from the gold era junk piles that relieve their dependency on China for such elements.

Last Updated: Jul 22, 2013, 18:44 PM IST

Washington: U.S. has claimed to discover rare earth elements from the gold era junk piles that relieve their dependency on China for such elements.

According to the Fox News, U.S. has started to unearth a group of metallic chemical elements that are not rare as much as they are just difficult to mine because they occur in tiny amounts and are often stuck to each other.

The key components of cellphones, televisions, weapons systems, wind turbines, MRI machines and the regenerative brakes in hybrid cars, and old mine tailings piles might contain a group of versatile minerals, that the periodic table called rare earth elements.

The U.S. Geological Survey and Department of Energy are on a nationwide scramble for deposits of the elements that make magnets lighter, bring balanced hues to fluorescent lighting and color to the touch screens of smartphones.

Earlier, Chinese had a strong hold on the supplies of these rarely found resources.

According to the report, it is when China attempted to raise the price of one of these rare elements two years ago, that`s when the U.S. government went into emergency mode and sent geologists to hunt for new domestic sources.

Currently there is only one U.S. mine producing rare earths at Mountain Pass in the Southern California desert. Molycorp Inc.`s goal in reopening the defunct mine is 20,000 metric tons of rare earth elements by this summer.

ANI