The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will offer $16 million in funding for projects in West Virginia and North Dakota for the development of a rare earth element and critical minerals extraction and separation refinery. This project, which is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is designed to bring critical mineral supply chains to the U.S. Phase one of the project will consist of studies conducted at The University of North Dakota and West Virginia University which will investigate how rare earth elements and critical minerals can be extracted from coal mine waste streams. The 15-month studies will explore the risks, costs, and benefits associated with extracting the materials.
In a recent quote, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said, “Today’s funding will support a first-in-the-nation facility that will convert legacy fossil fuel waste into a domestic source of critical minerals needed to strengthen our clean energy supply chains. President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is helping reduce our overreliance on adversarial nations and positioning the country as a global manufacturing leader—while supporting communities that have helped power our nation for generations.”