SAFE: LPO Funding for Upstream Critical Mineral Development Addresses Important Financing Gap

Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s announcement that the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Programs Office funding under Title 17 can be applied to upstream mineral development projects, Abigail Hunter, Executive Director of SAFE’s Center for Critical Mineral Strategy issued the following statement:

“Companies in the U.S. are exploring cutting-edge extraction methods and innovative mining approaches that ensure upstream projects minimize disruptions and maximize benefits. Unfortunately, they face anticompetitive maneuvering from foreign adversaries, and a challenging environment for private capital—two factors that have hamstrung countless promising projects from moving forward.

The energy transition away from fossil fuels requires minerals, and this updated guidance addresses a known market failure and gap in BIL and IRA funding. Bringing Title 17 funding off the sidelines for this essential purpose is a no-brainer for our national competitiveness and long-term sustainability objectives.

Simultaneously, the biggest barrier to investment in the domestic mining and extraction space is permitting. Reform is still badly needed to accelerate the transition to an advanced minerals economy.”

SAFE recognizes that projects selected for borrowing from the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office are subject to extensive due-diligence. Selected upstream projects would join the ranks of important midstream processing and downstream manufacturing projects, finally reflecting a much-needed full supply chain approach.

A recent SAFE webinar discussion on how DOE’s programs enhance U.S. energy security can be found here. SAFE’s Minerals Center, through its Sub-Committee on Opportunities and Risks in the Critical Mineral Sector (SCOR) project also hosts a dialogue with mineral investors and finance partners who have reiterated the need for accessible and patient capital from the public sector to support high-standard mineral projects over lengthy time horizons.

About SAFE’s Center for Critical Minerals Strategy (CCMS)
The Ambassador Alfred Hoffman, Jr. Center for Critical Minerals Strategy aims to secure all aspects of the critical minerals supply chain to help ensure the national and economic security of the United States and our allies as we transition from a fossil fuel based economy to a minerals based economy. CCMS is the sole NGO partner for private sector engagement to the State Department through the MINVEST project. The Center is also home to the Sub-Committee on Opportunities and Risks in the Critical Mineral Sector (SCOR) project with Appian Capital.

About SAFE
SAFE is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization committed to transportation, energy, and supply chain policies that advance the economic and national security of the United States, its partners, and allies. SAFE has convened business and former military leaders since 2004 to support secure, resilient, and sustainable energy solutions. Learn more at