The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) established the Division of Minerals Sustainability to facilitate an environmentally, economically, and geopolitically sustainable supply chain of critical minerals, from upstream through midstream to downstream, and numerous associated industries, all while protecting our environment.
Building on existing DOE research and development and applied engineering, this Division will report to Fossil Energy’s Office of Clean Coal and Carbon Management. It will focus on technology development and deployment throughout the critical mineral supply chain. It will also foster collaboration across federal agencies to address issues of critical minerals sustainability for energy, commerce, and defense. In addition, the Division will prioritize working with international allies to address sustainable practices throughout the world.
The Division will provide the oversight, management, and direction necessary for DOE’s research, development, and demonstration and applied engineering work with the technologies that will extract, process, use, and dispose of critical minerals and rare earths from raw mining materials, including:
- Assessment and prediction of regional resource potential and enabling technology development (drones, dynamic simulations, real time sensing and analytics, and micro drilling technologies);
- Resource extraction and beneficiation to enable recovery of currently unrecoverable minerals;
- Extraction from abandoned mine residuals and remediation of existing sites while maximizing environmental controls;
- Mineral processing through extractive metallurgy, reduction, and alloying that maximize production of mineral feedstocks and advance U.S. industrial, energy, and other sectors; and
- Technology validation pilots for extractive metallurgy, reduction, and alloying necessary to enable commercial production while minimizing land disturbance and maximizing environmental stewardship.