Wyoming discovery could be America’s first new source of rare-earth elements since 1952
Twelve years ago, former Wall Street banker Randall Atkins bought an old coal mine outside Sheridan, Wyo., sight unseen, for about $2 million. He thought the mine might eke out a profit. Instead, Atkins recently learned it could bring a windfall.
Several years after Atkins bought the Brook Mine, government researchers came around asking if they could run some tests to see if the ground contained something called “rare-earth elements.” When Atkins acquired the mine, he says he “didn’t know the difference between rare earths and rare coins.”