Rare earth mine in CA might be next national lab

Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 year, 4 months ago to Science
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This story has all sorts of elements (pun intended) that will be an affront to Objectivists:

1) nationalizing of a bankrupt mine via the DOE;
2) an American mining company unable to compete because of low Chinese prices;
3) the company buying the bankrupted company appears to be tied to the Chinese government;
4) the CEO of the bankrupted company asking the White House to use eminent domain.
SOURCE URL: http://ceramics.org/ceramic-tech-today/could-closed-rare-earth-mining-facility-become-americas-newest-national-lab


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  • Posted by  $  edweaver 1 year, 4 months ago
    Sounds like something the Obama administration would have funded.
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    • Posted by ewv 1 year, 4 months ago
      And Clinton would have sold it to the Russians.

      There was also a big push for statist (i.e., fascist) "industrial policy" under Clinton-Gore in the 1990s. The Democrats want to nationalize research and industrial planning, goals and development. It isn't just DOE, Gore's personal involvement in the 1990s began taking over DARPA for this purpose.
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    • Posted by  $  1 year, 4 months ago
      There are a lot more uses for rare earths than most people realize. In fact, several of them are being evaluated as replacements for biomedical imaging applications.
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      • Posted by  $  edweaver 1 year, 4 months ago
        You're probably right. I didn't have time to read the info. I was just commenting (sarcastically) on the list you typed. The list seemed like things they would have put money into. :)
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  • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 1 year, 4 months ago
    Leave it in the ground and wait until the Chinese play the volatility game again.

    I knew the Molycorp guys. They were a little iffy, looking to get the Navy to guarantee them business with a Jones Act-ish approach to rare earths.

    For what it is worth, domestic mines have a lot of rare earths (Neodymium, Samarium, etc), but we lack Dysprosium, which helps rare earth magnets have a higher Curie Temperature, where they demagnatize.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 1 year, 4 months ago
    A short list:
    government subsidization of business
    government-run business trying to drive out competition
    another government being asked to nationalize a company to give it a chance to compete with another government business

    Yup - about as objectionable as can be all around.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 1 year, 4 months ago
    I am a firm believer, (I almost Never use that word) that not only should government Not get physically involved... But... could be, one of many voices that make the need for new more efficient ways of processing these materials well known in the country; calling out to inventors and value creators in the USA.
    That is as far as I would allow the government to get involved.

    The most valuable thing ever said to me was the statement: The people are only as good as they are allowed to be...Meaning: Anything we need to know to be the best we can be should be shared often and copiously.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 1 year, 4 months ago
    An alternative source of rare earth minerals is the "waste" water that comes from oil and gas wells. Right now the water is simply reinjected into deep layers, but it does contain an incredibly rich mineral content. One company has already successfully extracted lithium from this water source, and there are indications that rare earth minerals such as cobalt could also be retrieved.
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    • Posted by  $  1 year, 4 months ago
      While there is some cobalt in such water sources, cobalt is not a rare earth. Rare earths are in the bottom two rows of the periodic table, the lanthanides and actinides.
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    Posted by GaryL 1 year, 4 months ago
    The simple fix that has no one with the guts to make it. Reciprocal import/export regulations. A country charges a duty on anything we export to them and we charge the same percentage duty on anything they import to the US. The libs will scream that this would raise the cost to the American consumers which it certainly will, for a month or two. Once China and many other countries are sitting on stockpiles of cars, trucks, TVs and you name it that they don't have warehouses for the price will either plummet or they will change their ways and trade fairly.
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