Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy and National Energy Technology Laboratory has exercised their option to award Energy Fuels, working with a team from Penn State University, an additional $1.75 million to complete a feasibility study on the production of rare earth element products from natural coal-based resources, as well as from other materials such as REE-containing ores like the natural monazite ore the Company is currently processing at its White Mesa Mill in Utah.
This award follows the DOE providing Energy Fuels a $150,000 contract in 2020 for the successful completion of a conceptual design for the same initiative, resulting in a total award to Energy Fuels of $1.9 million. The Feasibility Study is intended to support a cost estimate for the production of individually separated rare earth oxides and rare earth metals and alloys from coal-based resources or other resources, including Monazite, within the U.S., with a focus on REEs for the production of commodity and defense-related products.
Energy Fuels is already evaluating the potential to develop commercial REE separation, metals, alloys, and other downstream REE capabilities at the White Mesa Mill, or nearby, with the goal of fully integrating a commercial U.S. REE supply chain in the coming years. The Company’s work on the DOE Feasibility Study is expected to complement these efforts and has the potential to accelerate the Company’s move into commercial production of separated REE oxides and other value-added REE products in the U.S. in the coming years.
“We are pleased to continue our collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, as we work together to restore critical U.S. rare earth supply chains available for domestic manufacturing,” stated Mark S. Chalmers, President and CEO of Energy Fuels. “As we continue to ramp-up production of an intermediate rare earth product at the White Mesa Mill in Utah, we are moving forward with designing and developing the infrastructure needed to responsibly produce separated rare earth oxides and other products needed by the electric vehicle, renewable energy, defense and other domestic industries. Furthermore, we believe we can design our infrastructure to process feeds produced in the DOE program as well as the Monazite we are currently processing, for the recovery of uranium and REE products. We believe these kinds of collaborative public-private partnerships will be a key to restoring U.S. global leadership in the clean energy sector and re-establishing critical defense-related supply chains.”
About Energy Fuels: Energy Fuels is a leading U.S.-based uranium mining company, supplying U3O8 to major nuclear utilities. The Company also produces vanadium from certain of its projects, as market conditions warrant, and is in the process of ramping-up to commercial production of REE carbonate in 2021. Its corporate offices are in Lakewood, Colorado near Denver, and all of its assets and employees are in the United States. Energy Fuels holds three of America’s key uranium production centers: the White Mesa Mill in Utah, the Nichols Ranch in-situ recovery Project in Wyoming, and the Alta Mesa ISR Project in Texas. The White Mesa Mill is the only conventional uranium mill operating in the U.S. today, has a licensed capacity of over 8 million pounds of U3O8 per year, and has the ability to produce vanadium when market conditions warrant, as well as REE carbonate from various uranium-bearing ores. The Nichols Ranch ISR Project is currently on standby and has a licensed capacity of 2 million pounds of U3O8 per year. The Alta Mesa ISR Project is also currently on standby. In addition to the above production facilities, Energy Fuels also has one of the largest NI 43-101 compliant uranium resource portfolios in the U.S. and several uranium and uranium/vanadium mining projects on standby and in various stages of permitting and development. The primary trading market for Energy Fuels’ common shares is the NYSE American, and the Company’s common shares are also listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
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