New York Times says that Malaysia is placing a big bet on rare earth metals:
As many as 2,500 construction workers will soon be racing to finish the world’s largest refinery for so-called rare earth metals — the first rare earth ore processing plant to be built outside China in nearly three decades.
For Malaysia and the world’s most advanced technology companies, the plant is a gamble that the processing can be done safely enough to make the local environmental risks worth the promised global rewards.
Lynas Coropration, profiled in this story, expects to complete its the processing plant in Malaysia by the third quarter of 2011. The company, which is listed on the ASX, is also building a concentration plant based at Mount Weld in Western Australia.