In Far West Texas, just off Interstate 10, entrepreneurs have staked a 10,000-acre claim on state land administered by the Texas General Land Office. Their goal is to mine rhyolite, which contains rare earth minerals used in iPods, Stealth bombers, and dozens of other products. “This is a low-grade occurrence, but it has massive potential,” said Texas Rare Earth Resources CEO Marc Levier. “It appears that the entire mountain is uniformly mineralized, and if that’s true, this is huge.” The company took out a 20-year, renewable lease on 860 acres in 2010. Last May, the GLO permitted exploration and drilling on Round Top Mountain, site of the lode.
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