(WOWK News) West Virginia may be about to land a huge new windfall, from the coal industry. When coal is extracted, there is a waste product created known as acid mine drainage. Now instead of discarding that waste it can be refined to extract what are called Rare Earth Elements, which can be sold.
"It's important that we capitalize on these elements that we have in West Virginia and in a global economy, utilize those resources," said State Sen. Mitch Carmichael, (R) Jackson - Senate President.
Rare Earth Elements are used to make computers, cell phones, flat screen TVs and many other modern-day electronics. Eighty-percent of rare earth elements that are used in the United States come from China. But with the two nations locked in a trade war, West Virginia coal could be used for a byproduct, that China may no longer sell to us.
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