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Consortium to Assess Northern Appalachia Resource Yield (CANARY) of CORE-CM for Advanced Materials
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The objectives of the project are to 1) assess and catalog Northern Appalachian (NA) basin Carbon Ore, Rare Earth, and Critical Minerals (CORE-CM) resources and waste streams, 2) develop strategies to recover CORE-CM from these streams, 3) assess the infrastructure, industries, and businesses in the NA basin to determine CORE-CM supply chain gaps, 4) review technology gaps related to CORE-CM production, 5) formulate plans to establish Technology Innovation Centers, and 6) develop stakeholder outreach and engagement in educational activities. It will expand Penn State’s Power and Mineral Industrial Stakeholders group (PMISG) and include advanced carbon product manufacturers in the region to cover all aspects of CORE-CM.


The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 
University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40526
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060
Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401
Tetra Tech, Pittsburgh, PA 15220


This project builds on prior work by and current expertise of Penn State and other leading research universities and industrial partners, including some who currently own, develop, and operate carbon ore and critical mineral plants in the United States. CANARY collaborates with U.S. and State Geological Surveys and reviews the USGS National Geochemical Database, ongoing efforts of the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (MRI), historic mining and processing sites (PA DEP data and data from other similar agencies), and data currently held by the project team members (e.g., Penn State Coal Database) and by an expanded PMISG membership. To identify information gaps, CANARY will use GIS and Machine Learning applications, to map the resource, infrastructure, and market data in consultation with NETL RIC geospatial modeling activities. Research needs and technology gaps will be assessed, and resources will be targeted for sampling and characterization. This will provide a complete NA CORE-CM value chain basinal assessment to enable quick development of commercial projects. 


As we assess the basin for CORE-CM resources, we will pay particular attention to environmental justice considerations, economic development, job creation outcomes, and environmental, safety, and health concerns for the products proposed to be manufactured from the CORE-CM resources. This will provide an economic boost to individuals and corporations in the NA basin.

Accomplishments (most recent listed first)
  • Following several internal Penn State project team meetings to further outline the work in each task, a one and a half day meeting was held at Penn State on May 24-25, 2022, featuring technical and stakeholder discussions. Targets for CORE-CM resources were identified. Discussions regarding the vision for technology innovation centers and the needs for education and training helped to focus our efforts. 
  • A stakeholder briefing and Technical Operating Committee meeting were held via Zoom on July 28, 2022, to update the participants on the development of a structure to house the resource and environmental justice/economic development data, to review the resource targets and identify opportunities for sample characterization and collection, and to continue discussions on the technology assessment, development, and field-testing task.
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Performer Contribution


Contact Information

NETL – Eric Smistad, Program Manager (
The Pennsylvania State University – Sarma Pisupati, Principal Investigator, ( or 814-865-0874)