An Alaska company has set its sights on developing a rare-earth element mine by 2016 on southeast Prince of Wales Island.
Ucore Rare Metals' proposed Bokan Mountain Project could begin construction in 2014 with the proper permits, The Ketchikan Daily News reports.
CEO Jim McKenzie said China has dominated the rare-earth elements market, and the Alaska project gives the U.S. a chance to keep up. Rare-earth elements are the types of elements used in technology such as radar systems, satellites, renewable energy systems and consumer products like cell phones and TVs.
"We view the rare-earth space as sort of a race," McKenzie said. "Obviously, China is withdrawing product from international markets fairly aggressively, and the U.S. needs this product."
The company estimates that building a mine and processing facility would cost about $221 million and take about 21 months to complete. Based on curr ent resource estimates, the mine could operate for 11 years with a processing rate of 1,500 tons per day.
The other mine being Mountain Pass, California. The company website is a bit, hmm.