Rare earth mining is crucial to modern life providing critical minerals used for a wide array of products from iPhones to computers. But the U.S. currently imports over 96 percent of its rare earth minerals from other countries – some of which are not very friendly. So what is the problem? Sadly, domestic production is hindered by government permitting which can take an average of seven years to process – and these delays have killed important mining projects from California to Wyoming. Thus, despite a vast underground store of raw materials, red tape makes America one of the least desirable countries in which to operate, creating obstacles most mining companies simply don’t dig.
December 26, 2013 by Craig Rucker,
Craig Rucker is the executive director and co-founder of CFACT.