The Sheridan County Commission has voted to support the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources application for their proposed project in the Powder River Basin.
The project, Powder River Basin CORE-CM: Advancing Strategies for Carbon Ore, Rare Earth Element, and Critical Mineral Resource Development in the Nation’s Largest Coal Producing Basin, is in response to the US Department of Energy-sponsored Carbon Ore, Rare Earth, and Critical Minerals (CORE-CM) Initiative.
According to the letter of support from the commission, “the Powder River Basin is well positioned to support carbon ore, rare earth element and critical minerals research, and the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources has broad experience in all aspects of this work.”
The letter also highlighted a number of strengths of the proposal, including the 1.16 trillion tons of coal reserves in the Powder River Basin, the 16 coal mines in the region, and the Bear Lodge Complex, which has an unmined and fully characterized rare earth element deposit.
According to the US Department of Energy website, the funding is a part of the CORE-CM Initiative, which is sponsored by DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy, and is intended to catalyze regional economic growth and job creation by realizing the full value of natural resources, including coal, across basins throughout the Nation.
Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg said, “CORE-CM has been specifically designed to develop the upstream and midstream critical minerals supply chain and enable the downstream manufacturing of high-value, nonfuel, carbon-based products. This will help us realize the full potential for carbon ores and critical minerals within U.S. Basins.”
Projects will be developed by coalition teams of private industry, university, and state, local, and federal government personnel.