he high-density minerals in the Georgia kaolin mines are potential sources of rare-earth elements, including the heavy rare-earth elements that are in high demand for many important uses and are mostly imported to the United States from China...
It doesn't matter if it comes from China or anywhere else. If those rare earth elements were mostly imported fr ...[text shortened]... would be same... finding them here in the U.S. means less dependence on a particular foreign import.
Again, American rare earth mines send their raw material to China (where most
processing facilities are located) because it's cheaper to get them processed there.
(It's like a country that has oil wells but no oil refinery.)
""However, most of the world's rare-earth processing facilities are in China, which
also produces more than 90 percent of the world's rare-earth minerals. To develop
its metals as cheaply as possible, Mountain Pass has first been shipping its ore to
China, where the processed metals are then sold on the world market to makers of
smartphones, laptops, and magnets that go into electric car motors and giant wind turbines.
But in September, President Trump placed a 25 percent tariff on Chinese goods
entering the US, and China reacted by placing a tariff on US goods entering China.
That means Mountain Pass is paying much more to have its ore made into useable products."
Is the USA ready to invest in building new facilities to process rare earths?
If these facilities are not expected to be profitable, then will the US government subsidize them?
I read that, by using massive irrigation, Saudi Arabia has been able to grow wheat.
It costs about seven times as much to grow wheat in Saudi Arabia as in the USA.
Obviously, Saudi Arabia could save money by importing wheat rather than growing it.