rare earth minerals

11 Stories

Toxic Lake of Horror Comes From Making All Our Gadgets

Inner Mongolia lake filled with sludge from processing of rare earth minerals

(Newser) - "Dystopian" and "horrifying" are just two adjectives Tim Maughan uses to describe for the BBC what he recently witnessed in the remote industrial city of Baotou in Inner Mongolia. Most disturbing was his visit to a man-made lake filled with toxic sludge that makes the surrounding area smell... More »

Toddler's Death May Spur Desk-Toy Magnet Ban

19-month-old swallowed 'Buckyball'-type magnets

(Newser) - The small rare-earth magnets best known as "Buckyballs" are too dangerous to young children to remain on the market, staff at the Consumer Product Safety Commission have decided. Regulators—who vote on a recommendation to ban the desk-toy magnets later this month unless they're large enough to not... More »

China Muscles In on Race for Piece of Arctic Pie

Beijing increasingly aggressive as stakes get higher

(Newser) - As Arctic ice continues to melt at a disturbing pace , the "Cold War" in the region is heating up. Global superpowers, excited about the oil, gas, minerals, and shipping lanes that are being made newly available thanks to the melting ice, are vying for position in the region—and... More »

Obama Files Trade Complaint Against China

Says it's trying to 'skirt the rules' when it comes to rare-earth minerals

(Newser) - The US, Japan, and the European Union filed a joint complaint against China with the World Trade Organization today over Beijing's limits on rare-earth mineral exports, which they say violate China's international agreements. In a speech in the Rose Garden, President Obama accused China of "skirting the... More »

The Dirty Secret Inside Your Prius

'Rare earth' mining can hurt the environment

(Newser) - So, you bought a Prius or know someone who has. Beautiful. But look under the hood and you'll find some neodymium, one of the "rare earth" minerals that help run all kinds of green technology—and other high-tech stuff like smartphones and flat-screen TVs. So far so good,... More »

Major Ocean Mineral Find Could Transform High-Tech

Mineral trove vital for industry at bottom of Pacific Ocean

(Newser) - Japanese scientists have discovered mammoth deposits of rare earth minerals—essential in the manufacture of many high-tech devices—at the depths of the Pacific Ocean, reports Reuters . The find could transform the international market for these vital materials. Discovered as deep as 20,000 feet at 78 locations, particularly around... More »

China Hoarding Rare Earth Metals

The move could influence global prices, supply

(Newser) - In a move that could increase its power over global prices, China is stockpiling rare earth metals—a sector the nation already dominates. China exported 39,813 metric tons of the metals last year, and local reports claim that storage facilities built recently can hold more than that, the Wall ... More »

China Again Cuts Exports of Rare Earth Metals

China has nearly the entire world supply of minerals for tech gadgets

(Newser) - China will reduce its exports of rare earth metals by 35% over the next 6 months, the Wall Street Journal reports. Having raised taxes on exports of the crucial metals earlier this month, this move will likely bring more attention to the stranglehold Beijing holds on the supply of minerals... More »

China's Chokehold on Rare Earths Looms Large

Energy Department urges search for other sources of rare earths

(Newser) - China has the US by the throat thanks to its abundant supply of “rare earth” minerals that are needed to produce green products like compact fluorescent light bulbs, electric cars, and wind turbines, the Energy Department said in a report today. China produces 96% of the most crucial types... More »

China Ends Rare Earth Minerals Embargo

Hillary Clinton calls the halted shipments a 'wake-up call'

(Newser) - China has resumed its shipment of rare earth minerals to the United States, after cutting us off early last week, the New York Times reports. Shipments to Japan, which have been suspended since September due to disputes involving the arrest of Chinese fishermen, also resumed, though they are facing some... More »

China Withholds Rare Minerals From US

And the US is 15 years away from having its own supply

(Newser) - Recent trade spats with the US have caused Chinese officials to block shipments of rare earth minerals, a key element of high-tech products ranging from hybrid cars to missiles. China controls production of 97% of so-called rare earth minerals, LiveScience reports, which really aren't so much rare as expensive and... More »

11 Stories