- Monazite sand is so valuable because of its superior distributions of magnetic REEs for use in clean-energy, defense and other technologies
- UUUU has licenses, ability to unlock the value of this domestic resource
- This year, the company and its partners have created a U.S.-E.U. rare earth supply chain
Monazite has long been recognized as one of the most valuable rare earth elements (“REEs”) in the world, but it requires specific licenses and specialized technical capabilities to handle and process. Energy Fuels (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) may be the only company outside of China with the equipment, expertise and licenses in place to responsibly process this importance mineral for the recovery of rare earths at the highest standards of environmental sustainability.
“Monazite sand is so valuable because of its superior distributions of magnetic REEs needed for various clean energy, defense and other advanced technologies,” a recent Energy Fuels article states (https://ibn.fm/nPZk4). “Natural monazite sand is currently recovered as a low-cost byproduct of heavy mineral sand operations in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.
“The historic challenge with monazite is that it contains higher concentrations of natural uranium, thorium and other radionuclides relative to other minerals, thereby requiring specific licenses and specialized technical capabilities to handle and process,” the article continued. “Energy Fuels currently holds the required licenses, and we have developed the ability to unlock the value of this domestic resource over the past 20+ years of recycling numerous feeds for the recovery of uranium. Energy Fuels’ commercial-scale production of RE carbonate from U.S.-mined natural monazite sand positions Energy Fuels as the only company in North America currently producing a monazite-derived, enhanced rare earth material.”
Prior to Energy Fuels’ involvement in processing this valuable REE-bearing mineral, all monazite was sold to China, which dominates every aspect of global rare earth markets, from mining to processing to manufacturing. “China has wielded this monopoly of the REE supply chain to influence foreign policies, a weaponization that threatens the economic and national security of the U.S. and other countries around the world. Against this backdrop, the U.S. government is committed to ending its dependence upon China for REEs” (https://ibn.fm/VLyfr).
Energy Fuels involvement in this effort is essential. The company, along with key partners, is focused on establishing the United States again as a producer of advanced rare earth products, all produced from monazite, with a commitment to sustainability, environmental protection and human rights. The company is also creating a supply chain option that allows monazite suppliers in the U.S. and around the world to participate in the profits from downstream rare earth processing and production of advanced materials, including separated oxides, metals and alloys, and perhaps even permanent REE magnets needed for EVs, advanced technologies and renewable energy.
“What I find most exciting about all this is that not only do we have excellent optionality and exposure to improved uranium markets, we are also leveraging our existing uranium assets to give the company and our shareholders exposure to vanadium, REEs and potentially medical isotope markets, all as complements to our primary uranium business,” said Energy Fuels president and CEO Mark S. Chalmers. “Each of these complementary businesses could develop into a significant business for the company in its own right and bodes well for our quickly developing ‘Critical Minerals Hub’ in the U.S.”
Energy Fuels is the leading uranium producer in the United States; the company also produces vanadium from certain of its projects, and it was the nation’s largest producer of this critical mineral in 2019. Vanadium is used in steel, master alloys and emerging utility-scale batteries, with prices up over 80% this year. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, UUUU 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.
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://ibn.fm/UUUU
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