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By Shane Lasley
Metal Tech News 

The enigmatic rare earth elements paradox

American REE mining on the rise, yet 100% reliant on imports Metal Tech News Weekly Edition – February 12, 2020


Last updated 7/2/2022 at 9:12am

US Air Force F 35 fighter aircraft flying over Alaska 920 lb rare earth elements


A pair of F-35 fighters carry out training exercises over Alaska. Pentagon estimates that roughly 920 pounds of rare earths go into each of these advanced aircraft.

American mines produced roughly 26,000 tons of rare earth during 2019, a 44 percent increase over 2018, yet the United States is 100 percent reliant on foreign countries for its supply of these 17 elements vital to our modern high-tech society. This apparent paradox speaks to the complexities of these enigmatic metals.

The irony of rare earth elements (REEs) begins with their name, which is at...

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