The objectives of this project are to quantify, assess, and plan to enable the transformation of Uinta Basin earth resources such as coal, oil shale, resin, rare earth elements (REE), and critical materials into high-value metal, mineral, and carbon-based products that can be used in advanced products such as carbon fiber composites in aircraft and high-powered magnets and batteries in electric vehicles. The transformation begins with understanding the geology, which enables discovery of value-added resources, followed by innovative mining to optimize resource recovery, metallurgical processing to separate minerals and purify metals, chemical engineering to enable production of value-added carbon-based products, training and education to prepare the workforce, stakeholder engagement and outreach to facilitate sustainable development, and industry support to drive implementation and manufacturing.
The Uinta basin contains important resources such as coal and rare earth elements as well as critical materials that can be used to produce high value products that play critical roles in important products that we need every day. These resources, many of which are imported, are needed to run the devices such as phones and cars in addition to critical defense equipment. The United States needs to find alternative resources for these critical materials. In addition, as we transition from fossil fuels, we need more of these critical materials for green energy production and use, and we need to be utilizing these fossil fuels in nonfuel products to support local economies in coal communities as well as to provide important needs domestically. This project is designed to provide important information to help understand these resources, associated processing, and the potential for utilization as well as related workforce needs.
The success of this project is integrally linked to the transformation of basin resources into products. The transformation begins with the geology, which enables discovery of value-added resources. The geology is followed by innovative mining to optimize resource recovery, metallurgical processing to separate minerals and purify metals, chemical engineering to enable production of value-added carbon-based products, training and education to prepare the workforce, stakeholder engagement and outreach to facilitate sustainable development, and industry support to drive implementation and manufacturing. The pathway to transforming these earth materials for advanced products depends on availability, processing methods, final product quantities and values as well as associated assessment and planning from this project.
This CORE-CM project focuses on the following six specific objectives: (1) basinal assessment of CORE-CM resources, (2) basinal strategies for reuse of waste streams, (3) basinal strategies for infrastructure, industries, and businesses, (4) technology assessment, development, and field testing, (5) technology innovation centers, and (6) stakeholder outreach and education.
This project study includes large-scale extraction of multiple resources that can, through integrated and innovative processing, be used to produce multiple value-added products and create new industries as well as a more diversified Uinta Basin economy.
The Uinta Basin CORE-CM team has completed important assessments of resources, processing technologies, and workforce development needs and opportunities. The following is a summary of the accomplishments:
The project team continues to work on all aspects of the CORE-CM project in the Uinta Basin.
Work continues for some sampling and assessment of resources, assessing resource processing methodologies, developing a technology innovation center plan, regularly performing outreach and stakeholder engagement meetings, and working on the other parts of the project.