The Mountain Pass rare earth mine in California | Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

China’s Monopoly on Rare Earth Elements Tightens With Purchase of US Mine

Rare earths are critical to dozens of high-tech industries, from solar panels and electric vehicles to guided missiles and jet engines.

Published On 09/06/2017
4:25 PM EDT
M M odern life runs on rare earths. The bright and sharp LED displays on your smartphone and TV, the energy-efficient light bulbs in your kitchen, the disc drive in your laptop, and the power steering in your car all rely on the unique chemical and physical properties of 17 hard-to-pronounce elements on the periodic chart known as rare earth elements, or REEs.