Energy Fuels ships first batch of rare earth carbonate from White Mesa uranium mill to Europe for processing
(Kitco News) - Energy Fuels and Neo Performance Materials today announced that the first container (with approximately 20 tonnes of product) of an expected 15 containers of mixed rare earth carbonate has been successfully produced by Energy Fuels at its White Mesa Mill in Utah and is en route to Neo's rare earth separations facility in Estonia, creating a new United States-to-Europe rare earth supply chain.
According to a statement, additional shipments of rare earth carbonate are expected as Energy Fuels continues to process natural monazite sand ore mined in Georgia by Chemours for both the rare earth elements and naturally occurring uranium that it contains.
This new supply chain will initially produce rare earth products from monazite that is processed into rare earth carbonate at Energy Fuels' Mill in Utah. The rare earth carbonate is then processed by Neo at its Silmet rare earth processing facility in Sillamäe, Estonia ("Silmet") 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, which is produced as a byproduct of existing heavy mineral sands mining, also contains naturally occurring uranium that Energy Fuels recovers for use in the generation of carbon-free nuclear energy.
This commercial-scale production of rare earth carbonate by Energy Fuels from a U.S. mined rare earth resource positions Energy Fuels as the only company in North America that currently produces a monazite-derived, enhanced rare earth material.
In addition to supplying rare earth carbonate to Neo, Energy Fuels said it 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.