The Indian daily Economic Times recently ran an article that discussed Alaska’s mineral riches. In that piece, the writer declared that the state may well become the “Silicon Valley” for rare earths.
While there’s not much new in the article from a U.S. standpoint – the rich Bokan Mountain rare earths deposits are well-known, and state geologists have already identified about 70 promising sites exploration companies are ready to exploit – the fact that it appeared in an Indian publication is intriguing.
India is probably the most resource-hungry nation aside from China today, which means that India is not only introspecting when it comes to identifying sources of mineral supply, it is also carefully watching what the rest of the world is doing, and stepping up its efforts to secure access to mineral resources outside its own boundaries.
The publication of this article in India may be a signal that the world could be ready for the United States to be a metals exporter – a supplier, and not simply a consumer. This could be a golden opportunity provided we are ready – and able – to step up to the challenge.