Aug 31, 2017
President Trump is being asked to nationalize the only remaining rare earth mine in the United States. America’s only rare earth mine was purchased by “an investor group that allegedly has ties to the Chinese government. The mine was one of the remaining assets of the bankrupt Molycorp Inc. China currently controls 97 percent of global rare-earth mineral production. “By buying up Mountain Pass, the Chinese have locked up the only operating rare earth mining operation outside of China,” said Michael Silver of American Elements Corporation. Rare earths are used in many military applications including antimissile defense systems, lasers, night vision, satellites and military aircraft. The Government Accounting Office said that the Defense Department does not have a plan for dealing with “potential supply disruptions.” American rare earths mining is “burdened by environmental and labor regulation” and cannot compete with China which has little to no regulation. China was able to keep prices below their cost of production and drive the American Molycorp into bankruptcy.