- UUUU has signed three-year supply agreement with Chemours Company to obtain minimum 2,500 tons of rare earth and uranium-bearing natural monazite ore per year
- CEO notes company’s excitement about working with Chemours to help “reestablish U.S. rare earth production”
- Responsible production of REES, uranium from natural monazite ore is important complement to company’s existing programs
In what could be called a milestone moment in re-establishing a fully integrated REE supply chain in the United States, Energy Fuels (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) has announced a three-year supply agreement with the Chemours Company (NYSE: CC) (https://nnw.fm/8zVLu). The agreement calls for Energy Fuels to receive a minimum of 2,500 tons of natural monazite ore per year, one of the highest-grade rare earth element (“REE”) minerals in the world. Energy Fuels will process this monazite at its 100%-owned White Mesa Mill in Southeast Utah to produce a marketable mixed REE carbonate.
“We are extremely excited about working with Chemours to help reestablish U.S. rare earth production,” said Energy Fuels president and CEO Mark S. Chalmers. “Chemours is a leader in the U.S. heavy mineral sands industry, and, together we are now taking an important first step in returning the REE supply chain back to the United States. We look forward to working with Chemours in the future to expand our mutual contributions to this important initiative.
“This is a proud moment for Energy Fuels, as we deploy our unique capabilities to benefit both the environment and our shareholders,” he continued. “Energy Fuels already produces uranium, which is the fuel for clean, carbon-free nuclear energy. And we periodically produce vanadium, which is used in the production of steel, aerospace alloys, and advanced grid-scale batteries used to store renewable energy. The responsible production of rare earths and uranium from natural monazite sand ores is an important clean-technology addition to those programs.”
Energy Fuels has long been an advocate for efforts made by the U.S. government to address the country’s overreliance on critical minerals needed for clean energy and advanced technologies from foreign sources and re-establish the rare earth and uranium supply chains with U.S. companies.
“Energy Fuels stands ready to do our part in bringing uranium, vanadium and rare earth element processing and production back to the United States. We have led uranium industry efforts in Washington DC over the past three years to bring the issue of mineral supply chain security to the forefront, beginning with our Uranium Section 232 Petition, in which we asked the President to impose quotas on uranium imports,” said Chalmers earlier this year (https://nnw.fm/BWnnh). “Energy Fuels strongly supports the President’s declaration of a national emergency and invoking the Defense Production Act to free up the immediate government funding required to bring uranium production back to the United States and reduce our current dependency on imports from foreign adversaries, while also helping to fund U.S. vanadium and rare earth element production.”
This supply agreement is tangible evidence of the the company’s active efforts to do all it can to bring production of these essential minerals back to the United States. This agreement should provide Energy Fuels with the natural monazite ore it needs to provide almost 10% of total current U.S. REE demand.
In addition, UUUU is seeking additional natural monazite ore from other suppliers in order to increase its production. The company has the capacity to produce approximately 50% of U.S. REE demand in a mixed REE carbonate. Energy Fuels is also working with the U.S. Department of Energy to determine the possibility of processing other types of REE and uranium-bearing ores at the White Mesa Mill.
Energy Fuels is a leading U.S.-based uranium mining company, supplying U3O8 to major nuclear utilities; the company also produces vanadium from certain of its projects, as market conditions warrant. Headquartered in Colorado, the company holds three of America’s key uranium production centers: the White Mesa Mill in Utah, the Nichols Ranch in-situ recovery (“ISR”) Project in Wyoming, and the Alta Mesa ISR Project in Texas. The White Mesa Mill is the only conventional uranium mill operating in the country today, has a licensed capacity of over 8 million pounds of U3O8 per year. The mill has the ability to produce vanadium when market conditions warrant and it was the largest U.S. supplier of high purity vanadium pentoxide in 2019. Energy Fuels is also completing final test-work for the production of REE carbonate from natural monazite ore, and expects to be in commercial rare earth production in 2021. The Nichols Ranch ISR Project is on standby and has a licensed capacity of 2 million pounds of U3O8 per year. The Alta Mesa ISR Project is also on standby and has a licensed capacity of 1.5 million pounds of U3O8 per year.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.EnergyFuels.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to UUUU are available in the company’s newsroom at http://nnw.fm/UUUU
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