A very significant news knowing no rare earth were mined last year in US and imports increased by 6%. Molycorp's Mountain Pass mine was shut down in 2015.
According to Argus Media, US governments' Department of Energy will allocate up to $6.95mn for the development of rare earth extraction and separation projects.
A first phase of $3million investment will be allocated in three projects : Ucore's Molecular-Recognition-Separation-Technology, Marshal Miller and Associates and Texas Mineral Resources .
The extraction of rare earth elements from coal and coal by-products appears as a possible source to produce commercially rare earth oxides. The viability will be tested through pilot plants.
The US government concerns about the lack of a commercially active supply of rare earths in North America exists for many years. Molycorp did not succeed in making Mountain Pass mining operation profitable. The future could come from new extraction technoéogies adapted to specific ore materials.