April 04, 2023

Manchin Applauds $8M Award to West Virginia University to Support Development of Rare Earth Element, Critical Minerals Facility

Charleston, WV — Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, applauded the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) announcement of an $8,000,000 funding award to support the development of a first-of-a-kind facility at West Virginia University (WVU) to separate and refine rare earth elements and critical minerals from mining waste. The award announced today is Phase 1 of a larger endeavor and was made possible by the Chairman’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  Following completion of Phase 1, the project will have the opportunity to apply for Phase 2 which will assist with the construction and operation of the demonstration-scale facility. 

This award builds on prior work championed by Chairman Manchin, including a 2019 funding award to WVU of $5 million, through DOE, that helped establish a pilot facility which is currently extracting rare earth elements from acid mine drainage in West Virginia.
“West Virginia University has provided a mining engineering education to generations of students for more than 150 years, helping to build a strong and innovative mining industry that powered our nation and made us a global energy leader. This $8 million award, using funding from my Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will continue that legacy and help to develop the energy technologies of the future with a first-of-its-kind facility to extract and separate rare earth elements and critical minerals from acid mine drainage and mine waste. By deploying this innovative technology to reclaim water from mining waste, we will ensure that we are producing these materials in the cleanest way possible while addressing environmental liabilities. West Virginia and West Virginia University are continuing to lead the way in energy innovation, and I can’t wait to see how the entire nation benefits,” said Chairman Manchin.

To read the full announcement from the Department of Energy, click here.