DOE Funding for Critical Minerals Production Facility

Last updated: 12 December 2023

The U.S. Department of Energy announced a USD 16 million investment, provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, in the development of a first-of-a-kind rare earth element and critical minerals extraction and separation refinery. The two recipients of the funding, the University of North Dakota and West Virginia University, will study how they can extract critical minerals from coal mine waste streams as the first of two project phases.  
The Phase I projects will be managed by DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in collaboration with the Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC). Over a period of about 15 months, the recipients will perform detailed engineering and cost studies to identify risks and costs and solidify plans for the development of economically viable processes to extract, separate, and produce rare earth elements and critical minerals from mining wastes without harming the environment. Following completion of the studies and a period of technical review, the projects will have the opportunity to apply for Phase II funding for construction and operation of the demonstration-scale facility.

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