Former coal mine was discovered to contain 1.2 million tons of rare earths earlier this year.
U.S. mining company Ramaco Resources made headlines earlier this year, revising the amount of rare earths contained in its Brook Mine in Wyoming to 1.2 million tons, equaling as much as $37 billion. In an interview with Bloomberg, the company’s CEO, Randall Atkins, now added that the mine also contains the technology metals gallium and germanium. In the context of market leader China’s export restrictions on the two technology metals, this could further boost the mine’s value as it could offset decreasing supplies. Combined with the already-known rare earth contents, Brook Mine contains a “rather valuable basket of elements,” Atkins added.
Besides gallium and germanium, China also dominates the global production and downstream processing of rare earths. Countries worldwide are, hence, looking for alternatives to diversify critical mineral supply chains. However, it takes years or even decades until a discovered deposit is operational. In the case of Brook Mine, this could be faster as it was once a coal mine and has some infrastructure already.