The US Department of Energy (DoE) has announced that it will be investing $120m over five years in a new rare earths research centre in order to secure future supplies of the minerals to the US.
The Critical Materials Institute, or Hub as it will be known, will be located at Ames National Laboratory in Iowa. Scientists will focus on developing new ways of levelling the supply-demand ration of five rare earth elements in particular: neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium.
Specifically, the Hub aims to uncover methods to improve the efficiency of extracting and isolating rare earths, and to quickly transfer these to mining companies, according to the centres director, Alexander King.
The Hub will begin its work in the coming weeks out of existing facilities at Ames and other partner institutes around the country, including a new facility at Idaho National Laboratory. By...