Did you ever wonder how your iPhone screen got its color? It's from rare-earth minerals. CNET's Jay Greene takes you on a tour of a rare-earth mineral mine in California, where you'll see firsthand how rocks become the pixie dust that powers your iPhone.
Molycorp said Mark Smith's departure from the company, which mines minerals that are crucial ingredients for mobile phones, was unrelated to a regulatory investigation into the company's public disclosures.
Molycorp, which plans to officially reopen its rare-earth mine in California this week, buys a company which can manufacture neodymium-based alloys for permanent magnets from the minerals it mines.
But China says it regrets the WTO's decision, a ruling that could have implications for the legality of the country's rare-earth export quotas. China insists its policies are based on environmental and resource protection.
It was once an obscure topic only for geologists. But China's control over rare earth elements used in green- and high-tech equipment is causing alarm as the nation cuts exports.
How are these unusual minerals extracted from the ground and why is that process an environmental risk? CNET's Jay Greene explains.
The country, which holds a third of the world's reserves of specialty metals, eats up to 60 percent of global supply for use in consumer gadgets, medical equipment, and hybrid cars.
Recycling of specialty metals used in hybrid batteries, LED lights, and solar panels will help ensure future supply and save energy, a U.N. report says.
Molycorp Minerals seeks to reopen a California mine to extract rare earth elements, a group of metals used for magnets and batteries in hybrid vehicles, wind turbines, and other green technologies.
The Energy Department issues a report that outlines the risks from being overdependent on China for minerals considered crucial for high-tech products and clean-energy technologies.