August 18, 2022

Aug 18, 2022

University of Alaska to convene critical minerals summit August 22-23

Fairbanks, AK – In partnership with state and congressional leaders, the University of Alaska will host a summit to explore Alaska’s role in meeting the country’s need for a domestic supply of critical mineral resources.

The gathering will include policy makers, industry leaders, Alaska Native corporations, state and federal agencies, and top scientists and researchers. Alaska’s Minerals - A National Strategic Imperative, will take place August 22 - 23 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks against the backdrop of the United State’s $369 million investment to jumpstart clean energy development. 

“The race for clean energy technologies places Alaska at the center of our country’s demand to develop domestic sources,” said University of Alaska President Pat Pitney. “It also places the university in a perfect position to convene these vital, national discussions.”

Critical minerals plentiful in Alaska – copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements – are essential components in clean energy technologies from wind turbines and electricity networks to electric vehicles. Securing a domestic supply of critical minerals is essential for both the country’s green energy goals and national defense. 

“For the past 100 years, the University of Alaska system has been advancing research and expertise and educating the workforce required to help meet the demands of our state’s future. Our faculty, staff, students and alumni comprise a formidable resource to help guide the sound development of Alaska's critical minerals,” said Pitney.

Senators Murkowski and Sullivan will kick off the summit on the first day with a discussion about mineral development in Alaska as a strategic national imperative. Throughout the day, speakers will address the geopolitical issues surrounding critical mineral development, Alaska’s supply, access, permitting, and the community impact of critical mineral development.

Governor Dunleavy will open the second day of the summit and discussions throughout the day will take an indepth look at Alaska's opportunities. Sessions will include a look at the current research related to critical minerals in Alaska, and industry needs for development, including workforce and infrastructure.

Moderators for the two-day summit include Mike Sfraga, Chair, U.S. Arctic Commission, and DNR Acting Commissioner Akis Gialopsos. A full list of speakers and moderators is here. The full agenda is here.

Registration for the summit, which is near attendance capacity, is open online. The university is partnering with the Wilson Center Polar Institute to provide a free livestream of the summit. A recording and proceedings will be made available at a later date.

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MEDIA ACCESS: Media interested in covering the summit in person must register. There is no conference fee for media. Registration is at:, code akmincomp2022. 

For more information contact Monique Musick, manager of marketing and communication, at 907-388-4784 or