A huge pit in the Mojave Desert holds the largest collection of rare earth minerals outside of China. It was shut down years ago due to environmental concerns and the fact that the same minerals could be bought cheap from China. These minerals are integral in building electronics, weapons, wind turbines, car batteries. But China, which now dominates the rare earth minerals market globally has begun to limit exports, strong arming its control over that market. Now the Mojave Desert mine has been approved to reopen. It's going to be a drop in the bucket as far as the rare earth market is concerned but the Obama administration hopes it will be a foot in the door as well. The previous sentence was brought to you by the American Mixed Metaphor Council.