The Forest Service has issued a draft environmental impact statement for a proposed rare earth metals mine in northeastern Wyoming.
The Bear Lodge project near Sundance would be the first new rare earth mine in the United States in decades.
Rare earth elements are used in various high-tech applications, from smartphones to precision-guided missiles. Currently, most of the world’s supply comes from China. The only U.S. rare earth mine, in California, shut down last year after its parent company, Molycorp, declared bankruptcy.