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Gov. Makes Case to Pursue Rare Earth Minerals

September 30, 2011, Fairbanks, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today touted one of Alaska’s untapped resources known as rare earth elements. These minerals are used in almost every piece of electronic equipment you can think of: flat screen TVs, iPods, and cell phones. But with China controlling the market, Governor Parnell believes it’s time for Alaska to look at its own potential role.

The governor spoke of rare earth elements during a keynote speech at the Alaska Strategic and Critical Minerals Summit in Fairbanks.

“This is another step toward securing our future,” Governor Parnell said. “We want to stress that with the right investment and regulatory climate, Alaska has the potential to become a fresh and stable source of rare earth elements. Earlier this year, I called for collaboration in funding a strategic assessment of rare earth elements so we can learn how Alaska can help meet America’s needs. Advancing rare earth element exploration and production lessens our dependence on foreign supplies and helps diversify Alaska’s economy.”

This year the state funded a three-year, $500,000 land-assessment project to better understand where and in what quantities these resources exist in Alaska.

The one-day conference featured a lineup including Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, a team of world-class geologists, industry executives, Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan, and Commerce, Community and Economic Development Commissioner Susan Bell.

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