The U.S. government, the European Union, Japan have filed a complaint to the World Trade Organization, alleging that China is illegally limiting exports of rare earth minerals.
Rare earth minerals are necessary components in high-tech and green energy industries, to make things like television sets, cell phones and wind turbines. China currently controls about 97-percent of the world’s supply.
In 2015, Rare Element Resources plans to open a rare earth mineral mine here in Wyoming, which could position the state as one of the world’s top exporters of the materials. And CEO Randy Scott welcomes the complaint to the WTO.
“It’s good that the rest of the world outside of China has finally taken seriously and recognized the requirements for rare earth production and support of all of the technology and green energy initiatives that will drive our economy going forward over the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years maybe,” says Scott.
He adds, opening markets worldwide could prove to be good for operations in the Wyoming, because officials predict China will need to import rare earths in the next decade, just to meet internal demand.
“So while we may be opening up other markets for export of Chinese materials for the rest of the world, the Chinese are still going to demand their share of it to support their own growing economy.”
Rare Element Resources hopes to open its mine and processing plant by 2015, and expects to create up to 120 jobs in Crook and Weston Counties.