Rare earth elements are used every day. They are metals that are used in everything from cell phones to cars, televisions, military jet engines and medical devices.
However, the tit-for-tat trade war between the U.S. and China, may present a challenge to the industry which heavily relies on China. The retaliatory tariffs from China on $60 billion worth U.S. goods goes into effect this weekend.
Blue Line Corp., a chemical company based in Texas, is the first and only company outside of China that can process small batches of rare earth. They just partnered with Australian rare earths mining company Lynas to build a processing facility in the U.S.
“The group of materials we're looking at doing are the heavier rare earth materials and there's no commercial plant in the world that is actually separating these materials other than inside China. And these are very strategic materials that are used for a number of high tech and defense applications,” said Blue Line Corporation CEO Jon Blumenthal in an exclusive interview with FOX Business’ Lauren Simonetti.
Because the world is so dependent on China for these critical materials, Blumenthal believes that the market size is to be “several hundred million dollars.”
However, moving the supply chains will take some time, he said.
“It would take about a year of construction and then this next year to start up. So we're talking two to three years to get into production,” Blumenthal said.