national laboratories. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station Laboratory also focuses on research applicable to needs of the industry. The problem is not the lack of skilled researchers in federal agencies but the lack of projects focused directly on the problems of most interest to the industry.

The federal government has an appropriate role to play in supporting research that directly or indirectly can promote the development of technologies for the mining industry. The committee recommends that the federal government support research and development on mining technology for all stages of the mining process from exploration through mining to mineral processing. The government should have a particularly strong interest in long-term, “blue sky” research that is currently not being undertaken by the industry itself. Although some research applicable to several aspects of mining is currently being conducted by various federal programs, the DOE national laboratories appear to represent one of the most promising venues for undertaking such research.

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