A Brooklyn-based company says it has acquired more than three square miles of northeast Wyoming minerals leases with an eye toward mining for rare earth elements.

The Associated Press reports Royal Energy Resources Inc. will now seek a permit from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality to prospect for rare earths.

Rare earths are a category of elements used in a variety of applications from hybrid car batteries to wind turbines. Global demand for rare earths has surged in recent years.

The Bear Lodge Mountains in Crook County long have been identified as one of the better sources of rare earths in North America.


Another company, Rare Element Resources, also looks to develop a rare earths mine in the Bear Lodge Mountains.