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Delivering Digital Prep News Since 2024

The Little Hoya

The Little Hoya

Delivering Digital Prep News Since 2024

The Little Hoya

Modern Gold-Rush

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What’s behind China’s lithium rush?

A modern Gold Rush, or rather, Lithium Rush, has hit North America. On February 14, 2024, a mineral exploration company, American Rare Earths Inc., made an unbelievable discovery regarding the concentration of rare earth metals in Wyoming. 

In April of last year, American Rare Earths Inc. found an estimated 1.2 million metric tons of rare earth minerals and metals in northeastern Wyoming. This February, the company drilled again and estimated there are actually 2.34 billion metric tons of rare metals in Wheatland, Wyoming. For a long time, China has dominated this market, but this find has enormous potential to help the United States contend with China.

A notable portion of the metals found in the Wyoming mines was Lithium. Lithium is a key raw metal used in the mass production of microchips and batteries. Microchips are the single most important instruments in motherboards, which are needed in any computer-operated machine. Similarly, batteries are used in most electronics that don’t have an exterior energy source. 

In the later years leading up to 2024, America depended on microchip exports from Taiwan. The microchip production industry of this small country is greatly influenced by China, Japan, and Russia. With the discovery of billions of metric tons of lithium in Wyoming, America now has the facilities for constructing its own microchips. America Rare Earths Inc. is planning several extraction projects in Wyoming without government assistance. According to The Cowboy State Daily, “With worldwide rare earth mineral demand standing at about 60,000 tons annually, the company could move to establish a mining operation on 320 acres of state land where permitting would happen at a faster clip than on federally owned land. The fact that the demand is high indicates the company [does not need] to move ‘faster’ on federal land.”

These incredible findings bring a question for the years to come. With American dependence on Taiwan fading, how much longer will America support Taiwan’s independence from China? Will China try to take its chance in seizing Taiwan? This provocative question is far-fetched, but it could become a reality soon.

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