Rare earth elements from coal mining could boost Appalachian region

When asked if the old coal mine is now like a potential gold mine because of rare earth elements, Dr. Paul Ziemkiewicz, professor and director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute at WVU, responded, “That’s a nice way of putting it.”

“The red phosphor in your television screen, for example, is europium. That’s a rare earth element,” said Dr. Ziemkiewicz.