While a rare earths find on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean has misleadingly been heralded as a solution to China’s near-total rare earths monopoly (to find out why this claim is misleading, click here), a second rare earths discovery earlier this month was barely noticed, in spite of its greater potential to challenge China:
Indian-based Varun Group announced it had found 266.8 million metric tonnes of rare earths with an estimated mining life of 40 to 50 years in the Republic of Madagascar. According to media reports, Varun Group is already in talks with possible Indian and international partners to develop the deposits.
Probably the most resource-hungry nation aside from China, India has been stepping up its global efforts to meet growing demand for critical metals and minerals by its burgeoning industries and growing population. For the sake of our own strategic and economic future, the United States can’t afford not to take appropriate and swift action to ensure our steady supply of critical resources – beginning with developing the mineral riches we’re blessed to have beneath our own soil.