High-tech buried treasure
http://www.omaha.com/article/20100505/N ... d-treasure
Paul Hammel WORLD-HERALD BUREAU wrote:LINCOLN - The rolling farmland of southeast Nebraska looks nothing like the rocky landscape typically associated with mining.
But in five years, shafts may be sunk 500 feet beneath the soil to mine what one geologist called “the star elements of the high-tech age.”
A Canadian company announced plans Tuesday to explore construction of a multimillion-dollar mining operation about 70 miles south of Omaha.
The mine would seek niobium, used in producing steel alloys for jet engines, and an array of “rare earth elements” that are used in everything from batteries for laptop computers and electric cars to the powerful magnets in wind-power generators.
An official of Quantum Rare Earth Developments said the company was drawn to a 14-square-mile deposit on the Johnson-Pawnee County line because of increasing demand for such minerals and the political uncertainty of current supplies from places such as China and Brazil.
Paul Hammel WORLD-HERALD BUREAU wrote:The U.S. Geological Survey, Chutter said, identified the Elk Creek formation as “one of the biggest resources of niobium globally. It's certainly the biggest in the U.S.