State Senate Backing Development of Rare Earth Minerals in Alaska

Posted: March 18, 2013 at 6:37 am

The Alaska State Senate is looking to rare earth minerals as a new resource for Alaska’s economy.

The Senate, last week, passed a resolution calling on state agencies and congress to support the development of rare earth elements in Alaska.

Rare earths, such as, Neodymium, samarium, and gadolinium are useful in electronics and other industrial applications but are difficult to find in commercial quantities.

China currently dominates world production of rare earth minerals; however, Alaska is believed to have some of the most significant rare earth prospects in North America, with 70 known occurrences.

A rare earth mine on Prince of Wales Island is slated for construction next year, and UAF is researching ways to process the minerals.

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