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1) Apr 19 -- The Department of Energy (DOE or the Department)'s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains seeks public comment on market dynamics for critical materials, including non-competitive practices and price volatility, to identify potential ways DOE can help address these concerns. Responses to the RFI are requested by May 20, 2024.

This is an RFI issued by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC). This RFI seeks public input on market dynamics and price volatility in critical materials processing, refining, and recycling. This RFI will inform DOE's development of critical materials strategies and measures to more effectively mitigate market volatility as critical materials processing, refining, and recycling are scaled up in the United States and allied countries.

MESC seeks input from all types of critical material market participants:

• Companies that process, refine, or recycle critical materials;
• Groups that supply feedstock for such processors or recyclers (e.g., miners, scrap collectors);
• Offtakers of critical materials (e.g., automobile manufacturers, battery manufacturers, other clean energy manufacturers, utilities, heavy industries);
• Investors in critical material projects (e.g., project finance investors, banks, commodity traders, brokers, private equity);
• Not-for-profit organizations (e.g., entities capable of operating demand-side support mechanisms to scale up critical material processing, refining, and recycling);
• State, local, and tribal government entities; and
• Other interested entities (e.g., trade associations, market-clearing organizations).

On July 31, 2023, DOE released its Critical Material Assessment, which identified critical materials in the near and medium term that will face supply-demand imbalances. This assessment also informed the DOE's Critical Material List.

MESC is committed to securing the energy supply chains needed to support a clean and stable energy transition, which will be fueled by critical materials. This RFI will help inform the development of the U.S. Department of Energy's and its Office of Manufacturing Energy Supply Chain's strategy towards securing critical materials for the energy sector industrial base.

The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback on market dynamics in the critical material supply chain and how the Federal Government can play a role in supporting market stability and price transparency. DOE is specifically interested in information on:

-- Market dynamics for critical material producers and implications of those market dynamics for securing a secure and resilient critical material supply chain; and
-- What kind of Federal Government support or coordination would be essential to scaling up domestic critical material processing, refining, and recycling, particularly to mitigate market volatility.

You may answer as few or as many of the questions below as you would like. . . .

RFI: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2024-08391

2) Apr 10 [press release] -- The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC) released a Request for Information (RFI) to better understand market dynamics and price volatility in critical minerals materials processing, refining, and recycling and how the federal government can play a role in supporting market stability and price transparency. MESC is seeking input from critical material developers, investors, and other stakeholders on current market dynamics and potential sources of non-competitive practices that may be leading to price volatility and other challenging operating conditions. Responses will be used to support DOE critical material investment strategy and to inform potential program development to address market challenges and strengthen the domestic critical materials supply chain.

Critical materials are a crucial component to securing a resilient energy supply chain. Through Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act funding, MESC is making strategic investments across the critical material supply chain. However, recent price volatility and concerns about non-competitive practices are threatening the domestic critical material industry. MESC is committed to securing the energy supply chains needed to support a clean and stable energy transition, which will be fueled by critical materials.

This RFI will help inform the development of the U.S. Department of Energy and its Office of Manufacturing Energy Supply Chain’s strategy towards securing critical materials for the energy sector industrial base.

https://www.energy.gov/mesc/articles/request-information-critical-materials-market-dynamics-office-manufacturing-and

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