Department of Energy Establishes ‘Division of Minerals Sustainability’

(Credit: Department of Energy)

by | Jan 18, 2021

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(Credit: Department of Energy)

Today, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced the establishment of a Division of Minerals Sustainability. In a statement on its website, the DOE says the division was created to bring an increased focus to securing a US critical minerals supply chain that will transform the US energy and manufacturing systems to make them cleaner, more resilient, and more secure.

“Improving the domestic availability and supply of critical minerals, including rare earth elements, is a priority for the Trump Administration. Not only are these minerals vital to US national security, they are also essential components in technologies entering the marketplace—including next-generation nuclear, renewables, innovative fossil technologies, storage technologies, and electric vehicles,” said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg. “This Division is about the minerals that the Nation requires to power the 21st century, support our national defense needs, and grow the US economy.”

Building on existing DOE R&D and applied engineering, this division will report to Fossil Energy’s Office of Clean Coal and Carbon Management and focus on technology development and deployment throughout the supply chain and foster collaboration across federal agencies to address issues of critical minerals sustainability for energy, commerce, and defense. In addition, division staff will work with international allies to address sustainable practices throughout the world.

“The team we’re heading up will provide the oversight, management, and direction necessary for DOE’s R&D and applied engineering work with the technologies that will extract, process, use, and dispose of critical minerals and rare earths from raw mining materials,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Clean Coal and Carbon Management Lou Hrkman. “This division will accelerate the full potential for carbon ores and critical minerals, facilitating technology innovation in the US basins and supporting the power industry, the US manufacturing base, and our national defense.”

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