10 thoughts on “Light Blogging”

    1. The problem with rare earths isn’t that they’re rare, deposits are fairly widely distributed. It’s that the reason they occupy those rows at the bottom of the periodic table is because they really all should share just a single place. The chemistry of all of them is so similar that it is very tricky and requires some rather nasty chemistry to separate them from each other and they always occur as several mixed ores, again because of their similarity. China and Chinese companies in third world countries have an edge because they can simply dump all the waste in the nearest creek or convenient hole, the rest of the world, not so much.

      As with every other mine, whether this is financially viable or not will come down to whether or not the material can be recovered profitably. China may be running out of the means to periodically flood the market and absorb a loss to discourage competition.

      1. some more on that rare earth find in wy.

        “Sorry capitalism and capital markets don’t wait for decades when it comes to low hanging fruit. And that is what this find is .. and you would know that by simply reading the article.

        “Military Could Invest In Mining Critical Minerals In Wyoming

        The U.S. military has a huge interest in rare earth materials, something Wyoming has an abundance of. For instance, the U.S. Air Force’s F-35 stealth fighter takes 850 pounds of rare earths to build.

        The Pentagon brass is interested in investing in a few critical minerals mining projects, particularly rare earth opportunities that have emerged in Wyoming.

        For sure, there’s a laundry list to pick from.

        Since 2023, the Defense Production Act (DPA) has awarded $267.9 million to 10 companies to advance critical minerals projects, like rare earths, that could help with large energy storage batteries and specialty metals.

        None of the 10 companies are Wyoming-centric, but the military is looking to invest in rare earths mining projects, something that Wyoming has.

        The rare earth minerals bonanza is the result of consumers starved for magnet metals integral to the green transition to electric vehicles, wind turbines, consumer goods, robots and military drones, missiles and chips needed for sophisticated computing power.

        The military has a huge interest in rare earths.

        For instance, the U.S. Air Force’s F-35 stealth fighter takes 850 pounds of rare earths to build, while the average electric vehicle (EV) takes about 1 kilogram of rare earth minerals, or 6,000 metric tons to produce 6 million EVs.  


    1. The nation-states will try to dominate the field, but private companies will continue to channel the motivation and drive reminiscent of early generations of explorers and pirates. Our space future may end up being shaped not by government fiat but through the competitive efforts of self-interested private players willing to take the risks

      Arrr. That she be matey… Space Privateer I am! Arrrrr.

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