Alaska's Critical Minerals Newsletters and Information Sheets

Newsletter Issue 1

Newsletter Issue 2

University of Alaska CM Labs and Facilities


Stakeholder Meetings

September 13–14, 2023
Wood Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, Alaska

January 18, 2022
Geological Materials Center
Anchorage, Alaska

Knowledge Base

What are critical minerals?

  • Critical minerals are non-fuel minerals essential to the economic and national security of the United States, the supply of which is vulnerable to disruption.
  • Critical minerals serve an essential function in the manufacturing of many products and the absence of these critical minerals would have significant consequences for our economy and national security. They are also critically important to our nation’s clean energy goals.
  • Critical minerals are necessary for high-tech devices, national defense, and green technologies. They are minerals that have important uses and no known substitutes and, as a result, a disruption in the supply of a critical mineral would have a negative effect on the nation’s economic and national security.

Mining in Alaska

When it comes to developing a new rare earth/critical minerals (REE/CM) mine in Alaska, we will face challenges such as limited access to existing roads and limited access to electricity. As a result, when we consider the potential value of the mineral content in different basins, we will also consider how we could acquire the minerals and identify innovative approaches we could use to overcome obstacles. It is unlikely new mines for producing REE/CM will be economical.

Our CORE-CM will be working with existing Alaska mines to determine whether rare earth elements and critical minerals are found in existing mining waste streams. These mines have already borne the expense of installing infrastructure, so the incremental cost associated with producing REE/CM will be much lower. Whether it is in the lower 48 or in Alaska, whether an existing mine or a mine waiting to be developed, each requires a unique approach to the mining and for the processing.

Are you looking for more information about mining in Alaska? Check out the Alaska Miner's Associations resource page.