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Picture this…

acquired on July 2, 2001

acquired on June 30, 2006

Mixed Blessing
Almost 20 years ago, the architect of modern China, Deng Xiaoping, had stated, “There is oil in the Middle East but there is rare-earth in China.” Undoubtedly, China identified significance of the elements and today holds 96 percent of total rare earth element market share, but at the cost of seven-mile lake of toxic waste. It has been captured by NASA’s Terra satellite. Two pictures, captured five years apart, show huge growth of mine facility in the Nei Mongol Autonomous Region. Vegetation appears red, grassland is light brown, rocks are black, and water surfaces are green. If mining at this pace continues, the repercussion may turn the blessings (in form of rare-earth) into curse.

Courtesy: NASA