New U.S. to Europe Rare Earth Supply Chain Launched

by Carolyn Mathas

Energy Fuels Inc. and Neo Performance Materials Inc. announced that the first container (20 tons of product) of an expected 15 containers of mixed rare earth carbonate was successfully produced by Energy Fuels at its White Mesa Mill in Utah and is on its way to Neo’s rare earth separations facility in Estonia. This represents a new United States-to-Europe rare earth supply chain.

This new supply chain will first produce rare earth products from monazite that is processed into RE Carbonate at Energy Fuels’ Mill in Utah. It is then processed by Neo at its Silmet rare earth processing facility in Sillamäe, Estonia into separated rare earth oxides and other value-added rare earth compounds.  Neo is the only commercial producer of separated rare earth oxides in Europe. Monazite also contains naturally occurring uranium that Energy Fuels recovers for use in the generation of carbon-free nuclear energy.

Energy Fuels is the only company in North America that currently produces a Monazite-derived, enhanced rare earth material. The new rare earth supply chain allows for source validation and tracking from mining through to final end-use applications for manufacturers in North America, Europe, Japan, and other nations.

Energy Fuels is also evaluating the potential to develop its own separation capabilities at its White Mesa Mill in Utah, or nearby, and possibly adding metals, alloys, and rare earth permanent magnets manufacturing capabilities. The Company has hired the French firm, Carester SAS, to produce a study that includes capital and operating costs for a full rare earth separations capability at the White Mesa Mill.

Energy Fuels is in discussions to secure additional quantities of Monazite that it can use to expand this quickly emerging rare earth initiative. Energy Fuels has a goal of processing 15,000 tons of Monazite or more per year in the future. For perspective, 15,000 tons of Monazite per annum would contain rare earths equal to roughly 50% of total current U.S. demand, while only utilizing approximately 2% of the White Mesa Mill’s existing throughput capacity and less than 1% of its existing tailings capacity.

Original Release: PR Newswire 

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