Boeing has signed a deal to deploy remote sensing technology to map out U.S. deposits of rare earth elements.
The rare earth family is used to make everything from military hardware to cell phones, but could soon be in short supply as worldwide demand outstrips mining production in China. The aerospace and defense giant announced today that it will confirm rare earth mining claims held by U.S. Rare Earths, Inc. at locations in Idaho and Montana and also aid in the search for new deposits.
This marks the latest step in a global race to hunt down rare earth deposits. China currently supplies as much as 97 percent of the world's rare earth oxides, but has recently taken steps to cut back on exports and feed the growing demands of its own industries.
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