From a water sample supplied by the Bureau of Mines, University of West Virginia research documents that Berkeley Pit water contains 10 times the amount of necessary “rare earth elements/minerals” than it has ever discovered elsewhere in its research. These rare earth elements may also be prevalent in the mine dumps on the Butte Hill.
The elements are necessary for the development of new technologies like cell phones, wind turbines, computers and most importantly for the military equipment needed for the defense of our great country.
At present, the use of rare earth elements needed to enhance the advancement of new and innovative technologies is currently done in China and elsewhere. Butte, unlike many other communities, possesses the three main ingredients to be a global leader in promoting that goal: rare earth elements, water and power. We are also fortunate to have Montana Tech, the Bureau of Mines and leaders from Montana Resources at our disposal to lead the charge. A new processing plant, along with a possible new treatment plant, would be necessary for Butte to become that leader, thus creating good-paying jobs.
Mark Thompson of Montana Resources says, “Wouldn’t it be something if we as a community could ‘circle back’ from our contribution to providing the materials to defend this country during times of war to once again provide the valuable ‘rare earth elements’ in the Berkeley to enhance the use of new technologies needed today?”
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