Rosen, Lummis Urge National Science Foundation to Implement Bipartisan Provision to Bolster Hardrock Mining Workforce and Critical Mineral Supply Chain

Both Senators Secured Provision To Support Critical Minerals Mining Industry & Mining Workforce In The CHIPS And Science Act Of 2022

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) sent a letter to U.S. National Science Foundation Director Sethuraman Panchanathan requesting an update on the implementation of the provision they secured in the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 to support the critical mineral mining industry and bolster the mining workforce. Currently in the United States, there are fourteen mining schools, which have seen declining enrollment in recent years. To address this, Senators Rosen and Lummis secured a bipartisan provision in the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act to grow the next generation of mining engineers, promote research and development for critical minerals mining, and develop a secure and reliable supply chain. As the only state with an operating lithium mine and an abundance of critical minerals and materials, Nevada stands to benefit from investments that support the mining industry.

“We write to you today requesting a detailed update on the progress that has been made to implement Section 10359 of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022,” wrote the Senators. “We worked together to include this provision, which supports our critical mineral mining industry and makes new funding available to grow an essential workforce, and are eager to learn what steps the National Science Foundation (NSF) has taken to implement this provision and engage with communities across the country on available opportunities.”

“To ensure the United States is able to innovate and compete on a global scale, we must recruit, educate, train, and develop tomorrow’s workforce today, providing them the tools they need to meet the challenge of developing a secure domestic resource supply chain that will strengthen our nation’s future economic and national security,” they continued. “It is critical that the NSF swiftly implement Sec. 10359, so that the U.S. remains competitive with a strong, skilled, and adaptive workforce to meet the needs of the modern mining industry.”

“American minerals produced by a strong mining workforce are essential to securing our supply chains for electrification, innovative technologies, and our national security needs,” said National Mining Association President and CEO Rich Nolan. “As we look ahead, the job outlook for the next generation of mining professionals is bright. The bipartisan leadership of Senator’s Rosen and Lummis ensured that with the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act, the United States will be better equipped to meet the exponential growth in demand for responsibly produced minerals and a skilled workforce. We applaud the Senators’ commitment to implementing these critical activities to support training, education, and research opportunities to develop a competitive workforce that modern domestic mining relies upon.

The full text of the letter can be found HERE.

Senator Rosen has been a leader in securing the domestic critical minerals supply chain and advocating for clean energy technologies. She recently responded to the Biden Administration’s new report on mining on federal lands, highlighting its lack of support for domestic mining and critical mineral supply chains. Senator Rosen also helped introduce bipartisan legislation to protect critical mineral production in response to the misguided Rosemont decision, which is threatening mining projects in Nevada and across the West.