Posted by Al Jazeera English on March 14, 2018 16:47:23 The prospect of mining gold and silver on Alaska’s North Slope has prompted some companies to explore the prospect, which is believed to contain up to 1,200 tonnes of rare earth elements.
The metals are essential for the manufacture of the fuel used in aircraft engines, cars and mobile phones, but also for the creation of nuclear power plants and renewable energy.
The potential of the mineral deposits on the state’s North Range is so great that the US Geological Survey has warned that they could eventually become a key supply for the US.
Mining for the metals on the North Slopes is one of the most lucrative and dangerous industries in the world, with the potential for massive profits in a region known for its mining potential.
But there are also fears that some of the ore could be diverted to China for its weapons programmes.
Al Jazeera’s Chris Arsenault reports from Anchorage.