The minerals known as rare earths are likely the most important, but least understood factor in our transition to a low-carbon, clean-energy future. They’re essential ingredients to just about every source of renewable energy and nearly every consumer electronic device we use today.
On April 18, 2011, Molycorp, a U.S. based producer of rare earth metals and owner of the largest rare earth mine outside of China, announced that it has acquired a processing facility to manufacture rare earth magnets. According to CNET, Molycorp paid $17.5 million to Japan-based Santoku for its U.S.
As many countries in the world race to achieve a variety of renewable energy goals time has to be set aside to determine just how those goals will be achieved. With a rivalry that feels almost like a remnant from the Cold War reignited, China and the United States both seemed to be going at it to prove that they can be the renewable energy leaders of the world. China,