New REE Bioengineering Programme Being Studied
American Rare Earths Limited’s (ASX:ARR) wholly-owned US subsidiary, Western Rare Earths (WRE), is supplying feedstocks to researchers seeking funding from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) new Rare Earth Elements (REE) bioengineering research programme
WRE has provided REE (mineralised rocks or ore) to three research teams, including researchers from US national laboratories and elite American “Research One” universities applying to the EMBER programme.
It is providing some of the very few REE mineral deposit feedstocks that qualify for use in the program Feedstocks from Arizona and Wyoming are unique in that they are both nonradioactive and give access to almost all 17 Rare Earths metals in a single source DARPA is encouraging US scientists to engineer a new REE supply chain by utilising bioengineering or “biomining” approaches through the Environmental Microbes as a Bio-Engineering Resource (EMBER) programme.
REEs are a group of 17 metals that are critical components to many Department of Defense (DoD) systems, including lasers, precision-guided weapons, fuel cells, magnets for motors, and other devices.
The “EMBER programme” will aim to fill a critical DoD supply chain gap.
Dr Linda Chrisey, EMBER Program Manager, said the Program has attracted dozens of world-class researchers working to revolutionise an 80- year-old industry This initiative demonstrates the strategic importance of our Rare Earth Element deposits to the US domestic supply chain
“We are delighted by these potential opportunities cultivated by our US-based Leadership Team,” American Rare Earths Limited’s Managing Director, Keith Middleton, saisd.
“Having the domestic team in place early in our journey enabled relationships with key US REE researchers in universities and the national labs to be developed. Timely engagement with US Government programs has put the company in the mix as a valued potential provider of REE feedstock to the emerging US REE domestic supply chain which has become a critical objective of successive US administrations.
“We believe that the EMBER program’s focus on a strategy for REEs using domestic sources is an interesting indicator. We are not aware of a competitor that is supplying multiple teams to this program. This provides us with a point of difference, and we like our chances of potentially more than one team being awarded significant funding for their research using our mineralised ore.”
In return for its participation and support of this programme, WRE expects two primary benefits; initially, the research teams may be able to help WRE isolate the most effective and environmentally friendly extraction methods for its REE mineralised ore. Secondly, WRE expects rights to use any new technology developed by the teams it supports, potentially saving the company money in the future by domestically processing, separating, and purifying rather than offshoring to China.
For further information please visit: https://westernrareearths.com/