The US Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management has awarded nearly USD 18 million to advance eight projects to extract rare earth elements and other critical minerals from materials such as coal waste materials and support revitalisation in regions across the country that face economic adversity due to declines in coal and power plants communities.
Each of the eight projects had previously worked with DOE to develop a conceptional design of a technology to produce at least 1-3 tonnes per day of mixed rare earth oxides or rare earth salts and other critical minerals from mostly coal-based sources. Rare earth elements and critical minerals are vital in the construction of medical equipment, energy components, defence technologies, modern electronics, and a host of other consumer goods.
The DOE recently exercised options to continue work on the eight projects to complete feasibility studies of their concepts. Each feasibility study, which will take 7 to 10 months to complete, and aims to accelerate the advancement of technology to extract these materials found in coal and coal waste products. The DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory managed the conceptional design phase of the contracts and will continue to manage the feasibility study phase.
The DOE exercised contract options to continue projects operated by: Energy Fuels Resources (Lakewood, Colorado); Materia USA LLC (Inwood, New York); MP Mine Operations LLC (Mountain Pass, California); Tetra Tech Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania); Texas Mineral Resources Corp. (Sierra Blanca, Texas); University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, North Dakota); West Virginia University Research Corporation (Morgantown, West Virginia); and Winner Water Services Inc. (Sharon, Pennsylvania).
source：SteelGuru Business News
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