HPC Wire: DOE Invests $75M to Strengthen Critical Minerals Supply Chain for US

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 this week 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.

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