Mescalero Apache Nation explores for rare earth elements

The Mescalero Apache Nation of New Mexico is exploring for rare earth elements on its reservation.

The tribe is working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the project. Exploration is occurring on a 50-acre portion on the side of the Pajarito Mountain, The Ruidoso News reported.

President Mark Chino said the outcome of the project will determine whether the tribe moves forward with mining. Tribal members will be able to vote in a referendum, he said.

Rare earth elements have many industrial and commercial uses.

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Exploratory mining underway around Pajarito Mountain (The Ruidoso News 5/10)