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Rare earth discoveries mean coal mines could have a key role to play in the energy transition

Anmar Frangoul of CNBC writes about the role that coal could play in a rare earth mineral boom.

The C3 Take
  • A coal mine in Wyoming was recently found to contain the largest reserves of rare earth minerals in the U.S., which is estimated to be worth $37 billion.
  • West Virginia University is exploring the Mountaineer State’s rare earth mineral potential and is partnering with the Department of Energy to pioneer extraction methods to separate rare earths from retired mines.
  • Meanwhile, researchers at Penn State have researching ways to source rare earth materials from coal waste.
  • Technological discoveries like these could allow the U.S. to decrease its dependence on China and accelerate clean energy production.

“In Scotland, researchers have been looking at how the water that’s flooded old, disused mines can be used to provide decarbonized heating to buildings.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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