Early last year, we highlighted new Rare Earth exploration efforts in Saxony, Germany, where a newly formed company called Seltene Erden Storkwitz AG was slated to kick off drilling operations in the East German state.
They did kick off, and the long-suspected occurrence of Rare Earths in the area has now been confirmed by a report conducted by an independent Australian company, which detected a deposit of roughly 20,100 tonnes of Rare Earth oxides underneath the village of Storkwitz between Leipzig and Dessau.
As the German weekly Wirtschaftswoche suspects, it probably won’t be long until opposition to the development efforts will be voiced:
“Regardless of the amount, it will take a long time until the metals can actually be mined. The residents of Storkwitz likely will not be thrilled to see their village turn into a huge construction site. It wouldn’t be the first project in Germany to get held up by protests and petition drives.”
The Wirtschaftswoche’s commentary touches on an interesting (though not overly surprising) point which raises the specter of hypocrisy: Like the United States, where environmentalists are quick to demonize the domestic development of the very minerals upon which their preferred energy sources so heavily rely. Germany, whose Chancellor has made trips to Mongolia and Kazakhstan to sign Rare Earths development agreements, apparently is no stranger to the “Not in My Backyard” sentiment.