New Rare Earth Research Institute in the US

BBC News reports that a new research institute for rare earths is to be built in Ames, Iowa. The US Department of Energy will provide $120m for the Critical Material Institute.

The US wants to reduce its dependency on China, which produces more than 95% of the world's rare earth elements, and address local shortages.

According to the US Geological Survey, there may be deposits of rare earths in 14 US states.

"The Critical Materials Institute will bring together the best and brightest research minds from universities, national laboratories and the private sector to find innovative technology solutions that will help us avoid a supply shortage that would threaten our clean energy industry as well as our security interests," he said in a statement.