Allegheny Front, a Pennsylvania-based public radio station, recently reported on the efforts to explore rare earth element extraction and research in the Appalachian region. It focused on, among others, the work of Dr. James Hower from the University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research. From the article:

Hower says that in order for a rare earths industry to be successful in the region the industry will need to be headquartered in the region that produces the material.

“You don’t want to transport this material too terribly far,” Hower explained, “because you have a lot of material that is not rare earths that you have to then put back somewhere. Ideally we want to be working at source landfills, do initial processing there, and then send more finished products somewhere else for further polishing.”

The full article can be found here.