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Beulah economic development director wants to create an 'industrial park' for development of rare earth minerals

The city of Beulah’s economic development director has a dream.

It follows the announcement from Talon Metals Company that a new battery minerals processing facility will be built in Mercer County. That facility will process ore from the Tamrack Mine in Minnesota, to produce nickel concentrate, which Tesla will use for electric vehicle batteries.

At the same time, research continues on extracting “rare earth minerals” from coal deposits. Those minerals are also used in such things as cellphones and computers – and right now, the US imports most of those minerals.

"My goal is to take and locate an extraction point to extract graphene and graphite out of lignite coal, adjacent to or in close proximity of that plant," said Granville "Beaver" Brinkman.

Brinkman said semiconductors are large consumers of those two elements.

"I've been working with EERC (Energy and Environmental Research Center) also, and I'm hoping we can create a very attractive state of the art industrial park, that would include rare earth mineral extraction, plus the extraction of nickel from the ore."

Construction of the battery minerals processing facility is expected to begin next year.

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