GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — Federal energy officials have announced plans to conduct research on the extraction of rare earth elements in western U.S. regions.

The Gillette News Record reported Thursday that the University of Wyoming School of Energy Research hopes to partner with the U.S. Department of Energy for the research but needs local government support.

Gillette City Council and Campbell County officials say they would consider commitment letters at their respective meetings Thursday.

Scientists say the elements are useful for batteries, magnets, lights, wind turbines and more.

University scientists say they have completed research in the past but are looking for ways to potentially extract elements from the coal economically.

Scientists say officials would need to commit over $187,000 over three years and the university has already committed to $375,000 in that time.

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