Energy Fuels commences production at three of its U.S. uranium mines

December 21, 2023

Energy Fuels Inc., the Colorado-based producer of uranium, rare earth elements (REE) and vanadium has commenced uranium production at three of its permitted uranium mines. The mines in Utah and Arizona will ramp up production to take advantage of high uranium prices.

The company announced that it is also preparing two additional mines in Colorado and Wyoming as well as advanced permitting on several other large scale projects in the United States to increase uranium production in the coming years.

Spot prices of uranium have reached a 16-year high at nearly $90/lb. Energy Fuels has more licensed uranium production capacity than any other U.S. company (more than 10 million pounds of U3O8 per year), the only operable conventional uranium mill in the U.S.,an in situ recovery (ISR) facility. The company also owns several permitted mines in various stages of production, development and standby, and one of the largest in-ground uranium (and vanadium) resource portfolios in the U.S.

Energy Fuels has accounted for roughly two-thirds of all U.S. uranium production over the past five years. Once production is fully ramped up at three mines (Pinyon Plain, La Sal and Pandora) by mid- to late-2024, the company said it expects to be producing uranium at a run-rate of 1.1 to 1.4 million pounds per year.

Ore mined from the three mines during 2024 will be stockpiled at the company's White Mesa Mill in Utah for processing in 2025, subject to market conditions, contract requirements and/or mill schedule. The company is also preparing two mines (Whirlwind and Nichols Ranch) to commence uranium production within one year, which would increase Energy Fuels' uranium production to more than 2 million pounds of U3O8 per year starting in 2025, if strong market conditions continue as expected.

At the same time, Energy Fuels will continue to produce uranium from its alternate feed recycling program (expected to total approximately 150,000 pounds of finished U3O8 in 2024), while the company stockpiles ore as raw materials from its conventional mines pending the upcoming mill run. The Company also expects to commence an ore buying program from third-party miners in 2024, which is expected to increase the company's short-term uranium production profile even further. In 2024, the company also plans to advance permitting and development on the Roca Honda, Sheep Mountain and Bullfrog projects, which could expand the company's uranium production to up to 5 million pounds of U3O8 per year in the coming years. Energy Fuels also expects to produce 1 to 2 million pounds of vanadium per year, which could be held as in-process inventory or processed into finished V2O5 available for sale into improving markets.

In a statement, Energy Fuels said the decision to ramp-up uranium production at this time was driven by several favorable market and policy factors, including strengthening spot and long-term uranium prices, increased buying interest from U.S. nuclear utilities, U.S. and global government policies supporting nuclear energy to address global climate change. The company also cited the need to reduce U.S. reliance on Russian and Russian-controlled uranium and nuclear fuel.

Nuclear enjoys strong bipartisan support across the U.S. government. The current fleet of U.S. nuclear plants provides about 20 percent of all electricity in the U.S. – and about 50 percent of all carbon-free electricity in the U.S. The U.S. government has acted aggressively to support the existing fleet of reactors, advance future nuclear technologies, and restore domestic nuclear fuel capabilities through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 and the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The U.S. Congress recently included the Nuclear Fuel Security Act (NFSA) in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which is a critical step in restoring U.S. uranium and nuclear fuel capabilities and leadership. On Dec. 11, 2023, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a ban on the import of Russian uranium and nuclear fuel into the U.S. in response to Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and ongoing atrocities. The Russian uranium ban appears to enjoy overwhelming support in the U.S. Senate.



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