Significant quantities of Rutile (source of titanium) and Benitoite (source of barium titanate) were discovered within the Plato crater. Barium titanate was the breakthrough material that allowed the Earth to collect and store electrical energy, however, finding and manufacturing sufficient barium titanate cells for energy storage was becoming more and more difficult on Earth. The search began for sufficient amounts of Benitoite ore and a means to retrieve it; the search inexorably led to the Moon.
Six superpower nations set aside virtually every other major capital project and dedicated their national blood and treasure to the quest for Benitoite. The sprawling basin of the Ocean of Storms became the most highly prized mineral rich region on the Moon. Six nations had an initial presence at the Plato crater dominated by the Texan operation. The ability of Texas to mine ore so surpassed the other nations in the Sea of Rain that other nations eventually were forced to move to other lunar maria in or adjacent to the great Ocean of Storms. ×