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August 2, 2011 / Jeb

Rare Earth Prices Soaring As China Curbs Exports

Many years ago, farmers in Pennsylvania noticed a murky liquid seeping up through the soil. It didn’t take long for entrepreneurs to find a use for this oily stuff. It was advertised as a cure for baldness, impotence and sundry medical conditions. Little did the super-salesman of that time realize that they had come across a vital component of the industrial revolution. They called it Snake Oil.

Recently, a professor at the University of Tokyo, spinning a story, announced a latter-day version of the discovery of the lost continent of Atlantis. Brought up from the briny depths of King Neptune were stories of huge deposits of rare earth elements (REEs) located 20 fathoms beneath the sea. You might as well chalk this one up to tales about Rhinemaidens, leprechauns and sunken pirate treasures. Truth be told, the professor’s article may have value for readers of science fiction. You might find a pot of gold at the end of Finian’s Rainbow more quickly than you can bring up REEs from Davy Jones Locker. The search costs would be prohibitive. You would be well advised to file this story into the bin labeled Myths and Fairy Tales.

Read the full article by clicking here…

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