The U.S. Geological Survey has warned the U.S. Congress that demand for rare earth metals is increasing 8% per year.
The caution comes in the wake of U.S. companies searching worldwide for replacement suppliers for rare earth elements (REEs).
China supplies 97% of the global market's demand, primarily from a single mine near Baotou city in Inner Mongolia.
Last week, domestic REE producers concerned about potential supply shortages urged Congress to help reduce the United States' dependence on China for its rare earth supplies in light of Beijing's announcement in July 2010 that it would cut its export quotas by more than 70 percent despite growing demand worldwide.
Since China's pronouncement, rare earth metals' prices have skyrocketed, in some cases more than 500%, BusinessWire reported Monday.
California's Green Technology Solutions (GTSO) has taken on the challenge of helping eliminate the risk of supply shortages to the U.S. market and GTSO is working in conjunction with a Mongolian company to ship REEs from Mongolia to South Korea.