REE Background & Defined
Rare Earth Elements (REE) are a group of metallic elements with similar physical and chemical properties, and are a vital resource to industrialized societies worldwide. Diverse sectors of the U.S. economy depend upon REE, including energy generation, transportation, data transmission, entertainment, and national defense.
The United States has produced negligible REE since the early 2000s, while China has accounted for 90 to 97 percent of the global supply. The only active REE mine in the United States is the Mountain Pass mine in California, operated by Molycorp Minerals, LLC. Current exploration and development includes the Bear Lodge deposit in northeastern Wyoming (Crook County), owned by Rare Element Resources, Ltd. with exploration activities currently underway across the state by companies and individuals.