Rare Earth Elements Are Trending. Will They Drive Latin America’s Next Mining Boom?

By Patricia Garip

The region has the ideal mix of these vital inputs for green technology—but low prices and permitting lags stand in the way.

CONCEPCIÓN, Chile — The churning blast furnaces of shrinking steelworks and the glowing flare stack of an oil refinery mark the aging industrial landscape around Concepción in southern Chile. Not long ago, a historic ceramics factory shut its doors here. But the seeds of a potential revival lie just below the wooded hills overlooking this Pacific-facing city. This is where a mining venture called Penco, led by Toronto-listed Aclara Resources, is proposing to extract rare earths, the unique elements needed to make the magnets in everything from electric car motors and wind turbines to...

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