Energy Fuels receives first shipment of natural monazite
Energy Fuels Inc. announced that it has received the the first shipments of natural monazite ore arrived at its White Mesa Mill in Blanding, UT. This material was separated by The Chemours Company at its Offerman Mineral Sand Plant in Georgia and transported by truck to the White Mesa Mill.
Energy Fuels expects to gradually ramp-up production of an intermediate rare earth element (REE) product, called a mixed REE carbonate. This product will then advance to REE separation, which is the next stage in the REE value chain. Energy Fuels also expects to recover the uranium in the ore, which will be used as fuel for the generation of clean, carbon-free nuclear energy.
Upon successful ramp-up, Energy Fuels expects to commercially produce an REE product at a stage more advanced than any other U.S. company. As previously announced, Energy Fuels expects to sell its mixed REE carbonate to Neo Performance Materials (Neo), which will process this material at its facility in Europe and manufacture separated rare earth products available to U.S. and European markets. Energy Fuels is also continuing to evaluate developing additional value-added U.S. rare earth separation and other capabilities in Utah in the future.
“Over the past few months, Energy Fuels, Neo and Chemours have quietly worked to create something very significant: a new, fully-integrated, U.S.-Europe rare earth supply chain,” said Mark S. Chalmers, President and CEO of Energy Fuels. “This weekend's shipments of monazite ore from Chemours to Energy Fuels marks the beginning of operations for what we believe will become a burgeoning supply chain. There is a lot of excitement building for rare earths, because they make many clean energy and advanced technologies possible, including electric vehicles, wind generation, batteries and advanced electronics. Today's announcement is a key milestone as our companies create, refine, and grow a sustainable rare earth supply chain capable of supplying growing demand for clean technologies in the U.S. and Europe.
“We believe Energy Fuels has done more to restore U.S. rare earth production in one year than others have achieved in many years. Less than one year ago, Energy Fuels announced that we were entering the U.S. rare earth space. Now, we are receiving shipments of rare earth bearing ore and are in the process of ramping up for commercial production of an intermediate rare earth product at a stage more advanced than any other U.S. company,” Chalmers continued. “We intend to optimize our production of a mixed rare earth carbonate and then move on to developing our own ability to manufacture separated rare earth products at our plant in Utah. Our ultimate goal is to stand-up a fully-integrated U.S. rare earth supply chain that is globally competitive, quicker than any other U.S. company.”
Monazite is one of the highest-value REE-bearing minerals in the world, containing between 50 and 60 percent + REEs, along with significant quantities of recoverable natural uranium. Monazite also contains 22 – 24 percent NdPr (percentTREO Basis), which are two of the key REEs and which are needed for many permanent REE magnet technologies used in electric vehicles (EVs) and other advanced technologies. Monazite also contains excellent distributions of "heavy" rare earths, which are needed for many advanced technologies.
Monazite is currently mined in the United States, Australia, Africa, and elsewhere as a byproduct of heavy mineral sand operations whose main products are zircon and titanium.
Implementation of this initiative is subject to successful commercial ramp-up, execution of definitive agreements between the company and Neo, and optimization of the companies' production processes.