Signature Sponsor
DOE Invests $75 Million to Strengthen Nation’s Critical Minerals Supply Chain



April 3, 2024 - As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management has announced $75 million for a project to develop a Critical Minerals Supply Chain Research Facility. The project, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will strengthen domestic supply chains, help to meet the growing demand for critical minerals and materials, and reduce reliance on unreliable foreign sources. The project also supports President Biden’s Executive Order 14017, which has made it a policy of the United States to have resilient, diverse, and secure critical mineral and material supply chains, which are central for U.S. energy security, economic prosperity, and national security as they underpin many clean energy technologies, vital manufacturing processes, and several key defense applications.

“Critical materials are the building blocks of technologies needed for the transition to a net-zero clean energy future and for our national security,” said Brad Crabtree, Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. “To help ensure a secure domestic supply, DOE is investing in projects to help accelerate the production of essential critical minerals and materials from a diverse set of sources, working with other agencies and the private sector as part of a government-wide strategy.”

DOE expects that the Critical Materials Supply Chain Research Facility will support other on-going government initiatives, such as the Critical Materials Collaborative and Critical Materials Innovation Hub, along with the overall DOE-wide critical mineral and material goals of diversifying and expanding supply, developing alternatives, improving efficiencies across the supply chain, and enabling a circular economy.

A supply chain assessment in June 2021 found that over-reliance on foreign sources and adversarial nations for critical minerals and materials poses national and economic security risks. These findings were consistent with identified risks for supply chain disruption found in DOE material strategies and criticality assessments, in the United States Geological Survey critical mineral lists in 2018 and 2022, and the recently released DOE Critical Materials Assessment. With the rapid scaling of clean energy technologies required for addressing our climate goals and revitalizing our manufacturing sector, critical materials research, development, demonstration, and deployment are key to establishing resilient and secure supply chains and enhancing U.S. economic and manufacturing competitiveness.

Critical Materials Supply Chain Research Facility

The project selected today to support the development of a Critical Materials Supply Chain Research Facility will establish a nationwide foundational capability to address critical minerals and materials supply chain challenges. The National Energy Technology Laboratory will lead the Minerals to Materials Supply Chain Facility (METALLIC) project, which includes participation from eight other DOE national laboratories (Ames National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory). METALLIC will bring together expertise of the nine national laboratories to amplify the impact in critical minerals and materials research, development, demonstration, and deployment by providing rapid validation optimization, and commercialization of critical minerals and materials production and utilization technologies.

FECM’s Office of Resource Sustainability will manage the selected project. Additional details about the selected project can be found here.

The selected project team was required, as part of their application, to submit?a Community Benefits Plan to demonstrate meaningful engagement with and tangible benefits to the communities in which their projects will be located. This plan will provide details on their commitments to community and labor engagement, quality job creation, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and benefits to disadvantaged communities as part of the?Justice40 Initiative.

DOE’s Broader Advancements in Critical Minerals and Materials 

In addition to today’s project announcement, FECM has committed an estimated $58 million to projects since January 2021 that support critical minerals and materials exploration, resource identification, production, and processing in traditional mining and fossil fuel-producing communities across the country. This total includes $17 million to strengthen the Nation’s critical minerals supply chain for three projects that will support the design and construction of facilities that produce rare earth elements and other critical minerals and materials from coal-based resources.

FECM minimizes environmental and climate impacts of fossil fuels and industrial processes while working to achieve net-zero emissions across the U.S. economy. Priority areas of technology work include carbon capture, carbon conversion, carbon dioxide removal, carbon dioxide transport and storage, hydrogen production with carbon management, methane emissions reduction, and critical minerals production. To learn more, visit the FECM websitesign up for FECM news announcements, and visit the NETL website.