- The first container of mixed RE carbonate has been shipped from the United States to Europe.
- The announcement marks important achievement, not only for UUUU and NEO, but also for U.S. government efforts to restore critical rare earth supply chains.
- Energy Fuels is the only North American company that currently produces a monazite-derived, enhanced rare earth material.
A milestone has been reached in the quest to create a new rare earth supply chain based in the United States. Energy Fuels (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) and Neo Performance Materials (TSX: NEO) have announced that the first container of mixed rare earth (“RE”) carbonate has been shipped from UUUU’s White Mesa Mill in Utah to NEO’s rare earth separation facility in Estonia, creating a new United States-to-Europe rare earth supply chain.
“Today, Energy Fuels and Neo took significant steps toward restoring critical U.S. and European rare earth supply chains,” said Energy Fuels president and CEO Mark S. Chalmers. “Energy Fuels has methodically ramped up our mixed rare earth carbonate production since we first started feeding Georgia monazite ore into our Utah mill in March.
“Successfully producing this rare earth product, and physically delivering the first containers of rare earth carbonate to Neo, is an important achievement, not only for Energy Fuels and Neo, but also for U.S. government efforts to restore critical rare earth supply chains,” Chalmers continued. “This is also very good news for end users of rare earth products in the U.S., Europe, Japan and elsewhere who seek alternative sources of rare earths produced in the U.S. and Europe to the highest global standards of environmental protection and sustainability.”
The initial container, approximately 20 tonnes of product, is the first of 15 containers expected to be shipped to Estonia in the coming weeks. The new supply chain begins in the state of Georgia, where Chemours (NYSE: CC) mines natural monazite sand ore, or monazite, that contains both the rare earth elements and naturally occurring uranium. The rare earth elements are then processed into RE carbonate by UUUU’s White Mesa Mill before it is shipped off to Estonia and separated into rare earth oxides and other value-added rare earth compounds.
This commercial-scale process has established Energy Fuels as the only company in North America that currently produces a monazite-derived, enhanced rare earth material, and the shipment of the product represents the beginning of a new, environmentally responsible rare earth supply chain. This new supply chain could benefit manufacturers of electric vehicles (“EVs”), renewable energy systems and other users of rare earths in North America, Europe and Japan, as well as other nations.
“The launch of this new supply chain is a real gamechanger for Neo and our growing customer base in Europe,” said Neo’s CEO Constantine Karayannopoulos. “This innovative U.S.-to-Europe supply chain will supplement Neo’s existing rare earth supply from our long-time Russian supplier. It will enable Neo to expand value-added rare earth production in Estonia to meet growing demand in Europe for these materials. It begins to unlock the extraordinary economic and environmental potential presented by utilizing low-cost rare earth feedstock from monazite ore that is a byproduct of existing mining. And it helps Neo ramp up rare earth production in Estonia just as Europe accelerates vehicle electrification and other initiatives aimed at mitigating climate impacts.”
Energy Fuels is the leading uranium mining company 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 more than 70% 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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