Eric Onstad of Reuters reports on efforts to harvest rare earth minerals from mine waste.
- In an effort to reduce reliance on China, several countries are harvesting rare earth minerals from mining waste.
- Six projects in Australia, Sweden, and South Africa are processing materials from mineral sands, fertilizer, and iron ore operations with the goal of collecting 100,000 tons of neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) oxide by 2027.
- The U.S. Idaho National Lab estimates that over 100,000 tons of rare earth minerals are up in waste from producing phosphoric acid alone.
- Importantly, these projects are easier and faster to scale up than traditional mines.
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