The Messy, Global Battle for the Metals that Run Your iPhone


Have you heard of Neodymium? How about Rare Earth Elements? If you haven’t, you should. They’re incredibly messy to mine out of the ground – conveniently co-located in most cases with radioactive metals like thorium and uranium. The iPhone in your pocket won’t work without them. Neither will the hybrid car you’re driving to help stop global warming. And about 90% of the supply for these critical elements comes from China. In our latest TPMPrime Long Form (sub.req.), inside the environmentally messy global race for the metals that run your iPhone. And Andoid. And Prius. And everything else.