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Rare Earth Technology Alliance Applauds the Selection of Founding Member the Ames Laboratory as the New Critical Materials Institute


Contact: Marie Francis, (202) 249-6514
Marie_Francis@americanchemistry.com

Dept. of Energy to Host Live Webcast Featuring RETA Members on Jan. 15 at 3 p.m.

WASHINGTON (January 15, 2013) – The Rare Earth Technology Alliance (RETA) today congratulated the Ames National Laboratory at Iowa State University for its selection by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to create the new Critical Materials Institute (CMI). The institute, for which the Ames Laboratory will receive $120 million over five years from DOE, will specialize in rare earth and other materials critical to energy, technology and national security. CMI partners include RETA founding members Iowa State University, the Colorado School of Mines, General Electric, and Molycorp, Inc.

“This announcement has been eagerly anticipated by the rare earth producer and user communities. The Ames Laboratory, operated for DOE by Iowa State University, is an excellent choice as they have long been at the forefront of rare earth materials research,” said Kevin Moran, director of RETA.

According to DOE, the critical materials hub will be “a sustained, multidisciplinary effort to develop solutions across the materials lifecycle as well as reduce the impact of supply chain disruptions and price fluctuations associated with these valuable resources.” The institute will bring scientists and other experts together to address challenges in critical materials, including mineral processing, manufacture, substitution, efficient use, and end-of-life recycling, among other topics.

“The CMI has built the right team, management, and technical plan and is ready to pursue its mission to eliminate the criticality of materials as a barrier to adopting clean energy technologies,” said Alex King, director of CMI and the Ames Laboratory.

On Tuesday, January 15, DOE will hold a Google+ Hangout with two RETA members, CMI Director Alex King and Steven Duclos, leader of the Materials Advanced Technologies Program at GE Global Research, to discuss this important research effort, which can be viewed at energy.gov/live.

About Rare Earth Elements

Rare earth elements are essential to supporting a modern economy, and have many applications. They are extensively used in miniaturized electronic devices, such as cell phones and laptop computers. Many green technologies such as the new generation of wind powered turbines and plug-in hybrid vehicles rely on rare earth elements. And in oil refining, they are used as a catalyst. Rare earth elements are also vital to the defense industry, from laser targeting and range finding to satellite communications. These are just a few of the many examples of how rare earth elements are used.

About RETA

RETA represents a wide coalition of rare earth producers and processors; manufacturing companies that rely on rare earths for their products and technologies; and academic and research leaders in the rare earth sector. The group is specifically dedicated to an education and outreach mission on rare earth elements and technologies.

The members of RETA are: Arnold Magnetic Technologies; Avalon Rare Metals Inc; Boulder Wind Power; Colorado School of Mines; Ford Motor Company; General Electric; Global Tungsten & Powders; Great Western Minerals Group; Iowa State University; Knowles; Molycorp; Montana Tech; Quest Rare Minerals; Rare Element Resources, Sigma-Aldrich; Solvay, W. R. Grace, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

With its diverse and international membership, RETA is the only rare earth association whose mission is to provide all stakeholders—the media, policymakers, regulators, manufacturers and users of rare earth technologies—with comprehensive, science-based information about rare earths and their associated technologies.

For more information about RETA, please visit http://www.rareearthtechalliance.com/.

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