Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) Enlists Rare Earth Experts in Developing Commercial, Technical Strategies
- UUUU has finalized consulting agreements with two rare earth element industry experts
- Constantine Karayannopoulos and Brock O’Kelley will assist Energy Fuels as it focuses on entering rare earth space in the United States
- Energy Fuels seeking to leverage existing U.S. facility to produce high-value rare earth concentrates
Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR), the largest producer of uranium and the leading conventional producer of vanadium in the United States, has announced that it has finalized agreements with Constantine Karayannopoulos and Brock O’Kelley, two rare earth element (REE) industry experts, to consult with the company in the development and implementation of commercial and technical REE strategies for the new U.S. REE program (http://nnw.fm/z82zF). The company previously announced that it is entering the U.S. rare earths space by potentially leveraging its existing White Mesa Mill in Utah to produce high-value rare earth concentrates. If successful, the mill would play a critical role in restoring a U.S. rare earths supply chain.
“Energy Fuels is extremely excited to bring Constantine Karayannopoulos and Brock O’Kelley on board to advance our entry into the rare earth space in the U.S.,” UUUU President and CEO Mark S. Chalmers stated in a news release. “Over the past year or so, Energy Fuels has been actively evaluating this rare earth opportunity. We are quickly coming to the conclusion that the White Mesa Mill may be an ideal U.S. facility to process rare earth element ore streams and produce rare earth concentrates. Mr. Karayannopoulos and Mr. O’Kelley will assist Energy Fuels in the commercial and technical aspects of this endeavor.”
A chemical engineer by training with more than 25 years of experience in the rare earth industry, Karayannopoulos currently serves as chairman of Neo Performance Materials, one of the world’s leading producers of rare earth engineered and magnetic materials, with integrated supply chains across the globe. O’Kelley played a critical part in the operation of the Mountain Pass, California, rare earth processing facility for several decades. Both are industry veterans with extensive knowledge of REE processing facility design, start-up, operations and downstream value-added manufacturing of advanced REE products.
The consulting agreements represent Energy Fuel’s commitment to pursue the commercially viable REE production capacity in the United States. UUUU is currently evaluating minor modifications to its licenses and operations designed to enable the processing of uranium- and thorium-bearing rare earth ores at the White Mesa Mill facility in Utah. Removal and recovery of the uranium and thorium from rare earth ores is central to Energy Fuels’ value proposition, as many rare earth separation and recovery facilities are not able to handle uranium or thorium from a technical or regulatory standpoint. While adding this component to its business operations, Energy Fuels intends to continue its focus on uranium mining and production operations, and simply enhancing that production by recovering the contained uranium from REE ores for sale into the nuclear fuel cycle in a manner similar to how China’s rare earth and nuclear fuel industries work together.
“Energy Fuels looks forward to working with these two industry veterans in developing our REE business in the U.S. and in advancing our relationships in this sector,” added Chalmers. “Between Mr. Karayannopoulos, Mr. O’Kelley, and ANSTO of Sydney, Australia, we believe Energy Fuels is truly assembling a topflight team capable of building a successful U.S. REE business.”
Based in Lakewood, Colorado, Energy Fuels holds three of America’s key uranium production centers: the Nichols Ranch (ISR) project in Wyoming, the Alta Mesa ISR Project in Texas and the White Mesa Mill in Utah – the only conventional uranium mill operating in the United States today with a licensed capacity of more than 8 million pounds of U3O8 per year. With an asset portfolio that boasts more uranium production facilities, in-ground resources, production capacity and experienced personnel than any other producer, Energy Fuels is in a unique position to maintain its position as the leading producer of uranium in an era of viable transformation of the U.S. nuclear industry.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.EnergyFuels.com
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