Sponsor :   US Department of Energy

Dates :   October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2023

Summary :   CORE-CM projects will develop and implement strategies that enable each specific U.S. basin to realize its full economic potential for producing rare earth elements (REE), critical minerals (CM), and high-value, nonfuel, carbon-based products from basin-contained resources. CORE-CM projects will focus on six objectives: (1) basinal assessment of CORE-CM resources, (2) basinal strategies for reuse of waste streams, (3) basinal strategies for infrastructure, industries, and businesses, (4) technology assessment, development, and field testing, (5) technology innovation centers, and (6) stakeholder outreach and education.

The overall objective of West Virginia University Research Corporation (Morgantown, West Virginia) will be to focus on the expansion and transformation of the use of coal and coal-based resources—including waste streams—to produce products of high value to the 21st Century energy and manufacturing ecosystem. The project will accomplish these goals via a basin assessment of Central Appalachian resources, including waste streams, that could be reused as feedstocks and raw materials in processes that produce carbon ore, rare earth and critical minerals (CORE-CM) products. The team will prepare R&D plans to fill information gaps in the assessments of CORE-CM resources and regional waste streams. A technology and economic gap assessment to address barriers and spur growth for the basin’s CORE-CM resources will be developed, including preparing initial research plans to fill those gaps. In addition, the team will prepare plans for stakeholder outreach and education needed to support these activities. This effort will culminate with the preparation of initial plans for a technology innovation center that will be developed and operated by a basin-specific public-private partnership, leveraging facilities and resources of the MAPP-CORE team. 

This project will perform the initial strategy development and economic and technical gap assessment for the mid-Appalachian region, defined as the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The project team also includes resource assessments for southwestern Pennsylvania, recognizing the geologic and geographic connections between these regions.