As the world’s supply of precious rare earth minerals continue to dwindle, industrial nations scramble to find – and in some cases, monopolize – new potential sources. Raw Story reports that Greenland’s melting arctic ice could expose new deposits of the precious minerals. However, getting to them could be difficult.
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The scramble for the Arctic is part of a bigger pattern, a looming resource crunch that connects commuters delayed by stolen power lines to vanishing manhole covers across Europe – a crunch fuelled by severe pressure on key commodities across the world. Rapid economic growth in large developing nations – China, India, Brazil and others – along with growing urbanisation and a swelling global population set to top 9 billion have made unprecedented demands on natural resources. In the past few years, we have seen a series of food crises, soaring fossil fuel prices and hikes in the cost of key traditional raw materials such as iron, steel and copper, as well as the rare earths.