DOE Awards $6.9M for Research on Rare Earth Elements

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy announced it is investing $6.9 million in rare earth element (REE) research through two funding opportunities. The agency announced that three projects have been selected to receive approximately $3 million for research aimed at producing salable REEs from domestic coal and coal byproducts. In addition, the DOE has announced the availability of an additional $3.95 million for projects in three new topic areas to accelerate separation and extraction processes for REEs.

REEs are a series of 17 chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust. Due to their unique chemical properties, REEs are essential components of technologies spanning a range of applications, including electronics, computer and communication systems, transportation, health care, and national defense.

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US Withdraws From Paris Agreement

On June 1, President Donald J. Trump announced that the United States planned to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord and begin negotiations to either re-enter or negotiate an entirely new agreement with more favorable terms for the United States.

During the address in the Rose Garden at the White House, President Trump vowed that the U.S. would maintain its position as a world leader in clean energy, while protecting the economy and strengthening the work force.

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Bluefield Coal Show Starts September 13

The Bluefield Coal Show is scheduled for September 13-15 at the Brushfork Armory-Civic Center sponsored by the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce. The three-day event will feature a number of new exhibitors as well as most of the 2015 exhibitors showcasing their latest products and services in the coal industry, according to General Chairman Charles A. Peters.

Hal Quinn, president and CEO of the National Mining Association, will be the keynote speaker at the media appreciation breakfast and officially open the show on Wednesday, September 13. Quinn will provide a message on the latest on energy — new technologies in making coal more efficient and cleaner.

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Work Finally Begins at Rosebud Mining’s Cresson Operation

More than a decade after Pennsylvania regulators issued a final permit for the mine, work finally is under way on Rosebud Mining’s long-delayed Cresson underground roof-and-pillar operation in Cambria County that is expected to produce both metallurgical and steam coal from the Upper Freeport coal seam for a variety of markets.

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AmCoal Receives Contract for LG&E, KUC

Murray Energy Corp.’s American Coal (AmCoal) subsidiary has received a contract to supply up to 3 million tons of steam coal to Louisville Gas & Electric Co. (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities Co. (KUC) through 2019, although the exact origin of that coal remained uncertain in late spring.

Delbert Billiter, manager of fuels for Kentucky’s two largest electric utilities, told the Kentucky Public Service Commission in a filing that AmCoal did not supply any coal in 2016, the first year of the agreement, at the utilities’ request. As a result of negotiations, AmCoal is scheduled to supply 1 million tons to 1.5 million tons in both 2017 and 2018. Currently, no tons are scheduled for delivery in 2019.

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