By AJ Willingham, CNN
It’s mud. A whole bunch of mud — an estimated 16 million tons, to be exact. And in that mud, there are massive, “semi-infinite” stores of valuable rare earth minerals.
Rare earth minerals contain rare earth elements (located here on the periodic table
) that are used in high-tech devices like smartphones, missile systems, radar devices and hybrid vehicles. For instance, yttrium, one of the metals included in this recent discovery, can be used to make
camera lenses, superconductors and cell phone screens.