Elk Creek, Nebraska, rare earths, niobium

…what am I doing with that title? I’m keywording for the benefit of future researchers for the Bureau of the Interior who will need to look up this story about how the town of Elk Creek, Nebraska may be sitting on top of what may be an incredibly valuable (and incredibly strategic) deposit of rare earths, including niobium.  Short version: a lot of our favorite technological toys require a bunch of extremely rare elements, and unfortunately the luck of the draw of where they’re located hasn’t been all that great from our point of view.  So if it’s true that this Nebraska site is real and exploitable (the citizens of Elk Creek, by the way, ARE ALL FOR BEING EXPLOITED, assuming of course that they get their cut), having a source for these elements that isn’t under the firm control of the People’s Republic of China (or even Brazil) will be all to the good.

However, obviously any development along these lines will have to wait until the current administration leaves office, given that Barack Obama’s general attitude towards mineral and resource exploitation is to require that it be done by foreign entities and on foreign soil whenever possible*. Hence, the need for keywords as the title: I assume that this is going to be a bit of an action item in January 2013…

Moe Lane (crossspost)

(Via Instapundit)

*You don’t reconcile this attitude with a laser-like focus on domestic jobs, actually.  You can’t.  The only job that this President’s focused on is his own; only Obama doesn’t actually know how to keep it, and he doesn’t really have anybody out there that he can accept advice from.

Imagine how sad that last bit makes me.  No, go ahead.  Imagine.


  • Brad S says:

    There’s already an existing mine, at Mountain Pass (IN CA, OF ALL PLACES):

    Molycorp is restarting this mine, with mining and ore processing to start in late 2012.

    As to this Elk Creek potential mine, be prepared to have it be subsidized.

  • EastBayLarry says:

    Yes Brad, they are restarting *a* mine in California. There used to be many, but all that ‘making holes’ and ‘refining waste’ stuff got under the envirowackos skin. Anybody taking bets this mine will actually produce before it gets shut down again?

  • PubliusNV says:

    I have little confidence that the state or the Obama administration won’t shut it down, but having driven by the Mountain Pass mine several times in the last 9 months, I can say that there has been a great deal of activity there. Most of the workers actually live in the Las Vegas area, so this is just one more chance for Obama to take his hatred of capitalism out on Las Vegas residents.

  • R D Braly says:

    All you guys missed the boat. All the mines over here in the U S A were shut down because they could not compete with China cheap production costs

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