However, the real problem with rare earths in general (which are not rare, by the way) is the extraction process and especially the fact that you find them in the company of thorium. Thorium is naturally in the ground along with rare earths, but different regulations won't allow you to mix it back into the ground. You're forced to treat it as a radioactive waste. This complicates the procedure.
Such rules and restrictions do not apply in China, and this is why you'll find so many rare earths out there. Not because they're less rare than, say, Australia, but because regulations in China allow you to extract thorium along with the rare earths, not treating it as a radioactive waste. China is storing thorium and prepares to build Gen IV nuclear reactors with it. A smart move!
In Missouri, an American tries to help the USA on its path of rare earths independence from China, for one, and also indicates that thorium could be a more valuable resource, and by no means a "dangerous waste," like indicated by Western states regulations.
There are new horizons to unearth in the USA and the West, from the abundance of rare earths that will give us more independence, to the great advantages of using thorium as an energy source. If we pay more attention to this subject, we will be capable to generate electricity from clean nuclear reactors and stop wasting funds on wind mills and solar panels and similar Unicorn-type projects.
“When you mine for rare earths, you get the thorium for free…”