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General Atomics announces notice of DOE selection for rare earth element demonstration plant project

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Global Mining Review,

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has announced it has received a formal notice from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office to enter into negotiations for a financial award under the Critical Materials Funding Opportunity Announcement for engineering, construction and operation of a Rare Earth Element (REE) Separation and Processing Demonstration Plant. GA-EMS is teaming with GA Europe’s Umwelt-und Ingenieurtechnik GmbH (UIT), Rare Element Resources, Ltd (RER), and LNV, an Ardurra Group, Inc. company, on the demonstration project.

“This is a very interesting and exciting opportunity, and we look forward to working closely with DOE and our partners to bring this important project into an operational reality,” said Scott Forney, President of GA-EMS. “For many years, General Atomics’ involvement in the development, design and production of advanced technology defence and energy systems has made us keenly aware of our nation’s urgent need to secure a domestic supply of critical rare earth elements for national and commercial applications. Today, China controls approximately 80% of the world’s rare earth elements supply. Developing domestic rare earth element resources and separation technology has the potential to improve supply and availability.”

The Rare Earth Element Separation and Processing Demonstration Plant project will demonstrate the separation and purification of rare earth oxides (REOs) derived from ore removed from RER’s Bear Lodge deposit located in Wyoming. Bear Lodge is endowed with critical rare earth elements essential for high-strength permanent magnets, electronics, fibre optics, laser systems for health and defense, and commercial technologies such as electric vehicles, solar panels, and wind turbines.

“GA-EMS brings a depth of expertise in successfully managing large, complex, multi-year government programs, and specifically Government Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-compliant programs,” said Forney. “Along with RER, LNV and our GA affiliate UIT, this team brings the resources, experience and technologies together to efficiently design, engineer, construct and operate a facility for the separation and processing of rare earth ore to meet the nation’s requirements.”

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