Research Foundation News

February 9, 2021

American Resources engages engineering and manufacturing expert to advance U.S.-based rare-earth element purification facility

smith-william William Smith

Expert will advise company development of rare-earth element processing using ligand-assisted chromatography, an environmentally safer method of rare-earth element processing to help restore the U.S. domestic supply chain of this critical resource.


FISHERS, Ind.American Resources Corp. (NASDAQ:AREC), a next-generation and socially responsible supplier of raw materials to the new infrastructure marketplace, has engaged technology veteran William E. Smith III to advance the company’s goal of supplying isolated pure rare-earth elements from domestic sources using an environmentally safer method.

Smith will lead the design, build and operation phase of its rare-earth element (REE) and critical mineral purification facilities using ligand-assisted displacement (LAD) chromatography technology, which was licensed recently in partnership with Hasler Ventures and Purdue University.

Smith, president of CMID Inc., gained his experience during his 33-year career at Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE:LLY) overseeing technical support of its worldwide manufacturing facilities and holding responsibility for worldwide planning, design, and construction of capital projects. During his tenure at Lilly, he was directly involved with the chromatography process, including the engineering, building out of their facilities and manufacturing operations.

Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Purdue and received a College of Engineering Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award

“I am extremely excited to work with the American Resources and American rare-earth team and with the members of their process chain to implement their vision of domestic rare-earth element purification,” Smith said. “The chromatography technology developed by Purdue for this process is one that I am confident will be successful given my years of experience in the field. Our goal is to demonstrate globally that we supply the electrification market with isolated pure rare-earth elements from domestic sources.”

The company’s rare-earth purification facility will leverage LAD chromatography through its previously announced, exclusively licensed agreement for the technology. The technology is being designed to handle a multitude of feedstocks, including recycled permanent magnets, batteries, as well as various coal waste and coal byproducts. The process is a significantly environmentally safer purification process compared with conventional solvent-based extraction methods. The facility represents the final stage of American Resources’ REE process chain, defined as “Capture. Process. Purify” and enabling the company to produce commercially rare-earth oxides, lithium and cobalt from domestic sources. The facility will allow American Resources to be the first company to purify and isolate the elements for sale directly to permanent magnet and battery manufacturers in the U.S. The facility is being designed to be a scalable and expandable to full commercial stage. The company is currently evaluating a targeted list of sites to accommodate the facility.

“Bringing Bill in to oversee and rapidly implement the design, build and operations of our rare-earth element purification facility is incredibly exciting,” said Mark Jensen, American Resources CEO. “Bill brings unparalleled experience, an in-depth knowledge of the chromatography technology we have acquired from Purdue, and a deep, longstanding relationship with the university. There is no doubt in my mind that he is the perfect person to oversee this project, which is critically important to restoring our domestic rare-earth element supply chain.” 

American Resources, with its three divisions, American Carbon, American Rare Earth and American Metals, is built to leverage the growth of infrastructure and electrification markets that are predicted to see significant expansion over the next decade. The current administration in the U.S. has stated its intention to advance a green economy, which will require substantial infrastructure redevelopment and a significant expenditure on U.S.-produced steel as well as growth in the electric vehicle fleet.

About American Resources Corp.

American Resources Corp. is a next-generation, environmentally and socially responsible supplier of high-quality raw materials to the new infrastructure market. The company is focused on the extraction and processing of metallurgical carbon, an essential ingredient used in steelmaking, critical and rare-earth minerals for the electrification market, and reprocessed metal to be recycled. American Resources has a growing portfolio of operations located in the Central Appalachian basin of eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia, where premium quality metallurgical carbon and rare earth mineral deposits are concentrated.

American Resources has established a nimble, low-cost business model centered on growth, which provides a significant opportunity to scale its portfolio of assets to meet the growing global infrastructure and electrification markets while also continuing to acquire operations and significantly reduce their legacy industry risks. Its streamlined and efficient operations are able to maximize margins while reducing costs. For more information, visit or connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Special note regarding forward-looking statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other important factors that could cause the company’s actual results, performance, or achievements or industry results to differ materially from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond American Resources Corp.’s control. The words “believes,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “would,” “could,” “continue,” “seeks,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” “intends,” “estimates,” or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain such identifying words. Any forward-looking statements included in this news release are made only as of the date of this release. The company does not undertake any obligation to update or supplement any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. The company cannot assure you that the projected results or events will be achieved.

PR contacts Matt Sheldon, Precision Public Relations, 917-280-7329,

Cynthia Sequin, Purdue Research Foundation,

Investor contact Jenene Thomas, JTC Team LLC, 833-475-8247,

RedChip Companies Inc. Todd McKnight, 800-733-2447, 

American Resources Corp. contact Mark LaVerghetta, Vice President of Corporate Finance and Communications, 317-855-9926 Ext. 0

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