Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) Leading Charge to Reduce U.S. Dependence on Foreign Sources of Uranium
- U.S. government recently issued policy determinations aimed at revitalizing domestic mining industry
- UUUU’s White Mesa Mill is only conventional uranium mill in the United States
- Energy Fuels is largest domestic producer of uranium with assets accounting for over one-third of nation’s supply since 2006
Despite being the world’s largest consumer of uranium, the United States has almost zero capabilities in uranium mining, conversion or enrichment, forcing it to import the majority of its uranium and rare earth elements (REEs) from Russia and China. Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR), the leading U.S. producer of uranium, is leading the charge to reduce this major supply chain vulnerability, spurred by initiatives from the government to bring production back to the U.S. and to revitalize this segment of the domestic mining industry.
“America has become 100% dependent on uranium imports, with increasing quantities coming from Russia and its allies,” CEO Mark Chalmers explained during a recent corporate presentation (http://nnw.fm/SE2e8). “That should shock everybody because we are the largest consumer of uranium in the world.”
“Similarly, we are also dependent on imports of rare earth elements from China,” he said, referring to China’s 90% control of global markets for rare earth elements (http://nnw.fm/9eSs0).
This dilemma has spurred several initiatives by the Trump administration, including the president issuing determinations that declare rare earth elements essential to national security, the U.S. Department of Interior declaring uranium and vanadium (another metal produced by Energy Fuels) critical to America’s security and economic prosperity, and the pursuit of $1.5 billion in funds to purchase uranium directly from domestic producers to create a strategic U.S. uranium reserve. In addition, the President’s Nuclear Fuel Working Group released its report on April 23, 2020, which represents the strongest commitment since the 1970’s by the U.S. government to support domestic uranium miners.
“Energy Fuels been the largest producer of uranium over the last couple of years, and we have far more production assets, capacity and capabilities to increase production quicker and faster than any other U.S. company,” said Chalmers. Between 2017 and 2019, UUUU was the largest producer of uranium in the United States, with assets accounting for more than one-third of the nation’s supply since 2006.
Of particular interest to investors and the government is the company’s Utah-based White Mesa Mill, which has a licensed capacity to produce over 8 million pounds of uranium per year. This is the only conventional uranium mill in the country and the only facility in the U.S. able to process ore from hardrock mines.
In addition, the Energy Fuels holds two fully licensed, constructed and low-cost in situ recovery (“ISR”) mines in Wyoming and Texas. Moreover, uranium spot prices have risen 30% over the past two months, making Energy Fuels’ 500,000-plus pounds of existing uranium inventory more valuable, and the company’s “first-mover” advantage all the more important.
Besides uranium, the White Mesa Mill has other diverse businesses that include alternate feed materials recycling, land cleanup and the mining of vanadium – a critical metal used in the steel, aerospace and chemical industries. Vanadium is also used as a catalyst in next-generation, high-capacity, community-scale renewable energy batteries, and demand for the element is expected to grow as the market for green technologies expands.
Based in Lakewood, Colorado, Energy Fuels is the largest producer of uranium, and the leading conventional producer of vanadium, in the United States. The company’s production portfolio boasts more uranium production facilities, more production capacity, and more in-ground resources than any other producer in the United States, uniquely positioning the company to benefit from future price increases and directives by the U.S. government aimed at revitalizing the domestic mining industry.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.EnergyFuels.com
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