- UUUU aggressively seeking to expand rare earth bearing monazite sand feeds
- Bahia Project offers potential to provide Energy Fuels with controlled, low-cost source of monazite
- Company plans extensive exploration work over the next several months to further define, quantify HMS and monazite resource at the Bahia Project
As an emerging player in the commercial rare earth business, Energy Fuels (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) has is strengthening its presence by entering into binding agreements to acquire 17 mineral concessions in Brazil (https://ibn.fm/o7vX5). The acquisitions, located in the state of Bahia and total approximately 58 square miles, have the potential to provide UUUU’s White Mesa Mill with large quantities of rare-earth-element and uranium-bearing natural monazite sand for decades.
“This is another very significant step in Energy Fuels’ development as a major global rare earth element producer based in the United States,” said Energy Fuels CEO and president Mark Chalmers. “We are aggressively seeking to expand our monazite sand feeds. With guidance from our heavy mineral sand experts, the company has been evaluating the acquisition of monazite-bearing projects.
“The Bahia deposit is well-known throughout the HMS (heavy mineral sand) industry as having excellent potential to produce high-quality ilmenite, rutile and zircon products, in addition to monazite,” Chalmers continued. “We are very pleased to have secured this project, as it has the potential to provide Energy Fuels with our own low-cost source of monazite feed that we fully control. “
Known as the Bahia Project, the mineral concessions that Energy Fuels is acquiring are located between the towns of Prado and Caravelas. Based on historical drilling results, the project holds significant quantities of heavy minerals, including monazite, titanium and zirconium. No previous mining has been done in the area, but extensive drilling has been performed and exploration and mining permits have been obtained for the concessions. Consequently, Energy Fuels anticipates a clear path to moving the Bahia Project to production.
“The Bahia Project is a well-known heavy mineral sand (“HMS”) deposit with over 3,300 vertical historic exploration auger holes drilled to date, indicating significant concentrations of titanium (ilmenite and rutile), zirconium (zircon), and rare earth elements (monazite),” the company reported. “Importantly, the mineralization is at or near the surface, meaning the material is expected to be relatively easy to recover using standard, low-cost sand mining techniques.” Based on preliminary, historical resource estimates, Energy Fuels is confident that the Bahia Project could potentially provide its White Mesa Mill with anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 tons per year of monazite sand concentrate; that production could last for decades.
Energy Fuels plans to perform extensive exploration work over the next six months to further define and quantify the HMS resource at the Bahia Project. This work will likely include a comprehensive sonic drilling and geophysical mapping program to define the HMS grades and depths for the various mineral products.
Energy Fuels anticipates supplementing its monazite supply in the future with open-market purchases, arrangements with existing monazite producers and/or additional acquisitions. The company is in advanced discussions with other current and future monazite producers around the world to provide creative options on how to best build upon existing momentum and add further scale.
“In my view, this acquisition will provide significant credibility to investors, other monazite suppliers, and clean-energy manufacturers, as we will clearly demonstrate that Energy Fuels is well on its way to becoming a large-scale producer of advanced rare earth materials in the U.S.,” said Chalmers. “We have already proven our processing capabilities. Now we are proving that upon successful completion of this acquisition, we will own and control ‘the elements’ to supply EV, renewable energy and other technology manufacturers.”
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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