Jamaica gives the green light to rare earth feasibility study

The mining of rare earth minerals in the Caribbean nation of Jamaica has come a step closer after its government gave the go-ahead to the feasibility study for a proposed extraction project.

Go Jamaica reports that the National Environment and Planning Agency has announced that it is satisfied proper due diligence was performed prior to the approval of a feasibility study by the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JJBI) for the proposed extraction of rare earth minerals from red bauxite mud.

A team of Japanese researchers from Nippon Light Metal Co. announced earlier this month that they had discovered an abundance of rare earth metal in Jamaica's red bauxite mining residue, and that they believed extraction of the minerals was economically feasible.

The development of rare earth minerals in Jamaica could provide a major boon to the economy of the small Caribbean nation.

Alternative sources of rare earth metals are highly coveted by industrialized economies, due to both their vital importance for a broad swathe of high tech goods, as well as the strangehold on supply currently enjoyed by China.