Rare-earth minerals mining project moves forward

A company called Western Rare Earths, based in Phoenix, is moving forward with plans to drill into the ground for a set of 17 minerals on public lands near Bouse, Arizona in rural La Paz County.

The prize: 17 elements known as ‘rare-earth elements’, which include 15 lanthanides plus scandium and yttrium. These elements are necessary components of more than 200 products, especially in high-tech, including cell phones, hard drives, electric and hybrid vehicles, monitors and televisions, as well as technologies used in national defense.

The vast majority of the reserves are in China, according to the company, with as much as 97 percent of the rare-earth elements coming from there. The possibility of a mine at the site in La Paz County has been known about for around 10 years. It was established in 2011, when 195 exploratory “extremely shallow percussion 30-meter drill holes” were made, and with it, the promise of an American source for the elements, and the possibility of giving the United States more independence from foreign supply chains.

The new drilling scheme on the site will utilize 9 core drill locations to upgrade the 2012 rare-earths resource information and, separately, “to establish a maiden resource for scandium.”

The company says it could bring 500 high-quality jobs to the area, along with economic benefits that come with being designated an opportunity zone area. The Biden administration seems to be on board also, having given the company approval for an exemption to the 60-day moratorium, and with plans to have the first carbon-negative mine in North America.

Western Rare Earths plans to produce a Preliminary Economic Assessment in the second half of 2021.

8 comments

  1. Wheres the location?

  2. Nelson Barter

    Keeping my fingers crossed for their success 🤞

  3. pLease EXpaiN NeW inferMatIon SPeedy

  4. Now lets see how long it takes for the retired (and financially secure) population of the County to complain enough to kill this opportunity.

    You know, the folks who don’t want the community to grow or change because they like their quiet little retirement spot in the desert. Just like what happens every time a major industrial project tries to come into La Paz County.

    Must be nice to fight growth tooth and nail to keep your retirement spot, since you are already financially secure. Meanwhile, generation after generation of youth either leave for other areas with jobs, or get relegated to poverty and drug abuse.

  5. Let’s hope the potential for this mine is realized both for La Paz County and the United States. How ironic that this small community could play such an important role in alternative energy production and help the US gain independence from China in this critical area. This effort deserves everyone’s support

  6. Western Rare Earths (WRE), the wholly-owned subsidiary of Australian traded American Rare Earths Limited

  7. I LOVe raRe Meet

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