Energy Fuels enters into MOU to secure near term, large scale Australian source of rare earth minerals to supply new U.S. based supply chain for decades
Energy Fuels, Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (“Energy Fuels”), the largest producer of uranium in the United States, has entered into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Australian Indigenous group, Marubeni Rare Earths Corporation and its associated entities to secure immediate and long-term access to large quantities of strategic rare earths from an Australian source. This agreement provides Energy Fuels with an exclusive source of supply for a broad range of rare earths for decades into the future.
The MOU provides for the development of an integrated supply chain that begins with the extraction and concentration of rare earths from a major prospective source in Australia and ultimately ends with a spodumene concentrate product being available in the U.S. market at competitive prices. A key goal for the companies was to establish a long-term supply chain that would counter the current over-reliance on regions such as China that have a monopoly on rare earth supply.
The MOU allows Energy Fuels to move forward with the commercial development, in Australia, of a large-scale processing facility that would be capable of producing high-grade concentrates of rare earths. These concentrates would then be shipped to the U.S. for further processing at the Energy Fuels’ White Mesa Mill located in Utah. The concentrate will be processed through Energy Fuels’ existing roasting facility and then refined further into spodumene concentrate for downstream applications.
Energy Fuels has already established a U.S. facility to process rare earth concentrates, which is located at the White Mesa Mill and is one of only two such facilities in the U.S. The role of the White Mesa Mill will thus be to refine, test, package and distribute the rare earth concentrate for the U.S. market.
The MOU between Energy Fuels, Marubeni Rare Earths Corporation and its associated entities represents a major step forward in Energy Fuels plans to secure a stable, long-term source of supply of rare earth concentrates. The MOU is non-binding and is subject to the parties agreeing to mutually acceptable definitive documentation and other conditions.
Rare earths represent a critical part of modern technology, including smartphones, electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, and other “green” technologies. The ability of the U.S. to gain control of the supply chains of rare earth minerals is an important step on the path towards decarbonization and a truly sustainable society.
While this is an early agreement and further details are yet to be finalized, Energy Fuels President and CEO Mark Chalmers expressed his enthusiasm for the arrangements:
“We are very pleased to announce this arrangement which we anticipate has long-term implications regarding rare earths supply for the United States,” said Mr. Chalmers. “This arrangement greatly strengthens Energy Fuels’ already established rare earth strategy and is another milestone towards the Company’s goal of becoming a cornerstone supplier of rare earths products to the U.S. market. We expect to be able to provide further details in the coming months and look forward to partnering with Marubeni Rare Earths Corporation and it associated entities to provide a competitively priced, secure, long-term supply of rare earths products to the U.S. market.”