A Request for Information is issued by the Department of Energy (DOE) to obtain public input in support of a DOE plan to design, construct, and build out a first-of-its-kind demonstration facility for the commercial feasibility of a full-scale, integrated rare earth metal extraction, separation, and refining facility. This facility will process rare-earth element and critical minerals from the waste of extractive industries (e.g coal waste and ash, acid mine drainage, produced water) with the objective of supporting multiple industrial sectors, including national defence and clean energy technologies needed for the decarbonization of the electricity sector.
Input is also sought regarding the social and environmental justice implications of the facility; the award recipient will be expected to demonstrate meaningful engagement with disadvantaged communities and maximize opportunities for environmental justice in project siting and workforce development.
The facility is supported by a $140 million investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The final selection and project award for the construction, operation, and production of rare earths and critical minerals through the demonstration facility will be executed at a later date.