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Energy Fuels starts up three uranium mines

Cooperative nuclear energy policies aim for net-zero goals Metal Tech News - December 28, 2023

More than 20 countries gathered for the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, better known as COP28, agree that nuclear energy has a major role to play in achieving the global goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The Declaration to Triple Nuclear Energy endorsed by these nations gathered in Dubai for COP28 includes global resolutions to work together to advance a goal of tripling nuclear energy capacity by 2050 and encourages international financial institutions to establish nuclear energy lending policies.

"The Declaration recognizes the key role of nuclear energy in achieving global net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and keeping the 1.5-degree goal within reach," the U.S. Department of Energy penned in a statement following the declaration.

Encouraged by tentative sanctions on Russian uranium and rising prices of the heavy metal – currently at around $90 per pound, the highest since 2007 – U.S.-based Energy Fuels has announced it will begin production at three of its uranium mines across Arizona and Utah.

"Due to the substantial increase in uranium prices, U.S. government support for nuclear energy and nuclear fuel, and a global focus on reducing carbon-emissions, Energy Fuels is resuming large-scale uranium production," CEO Mark Chalmers said in a statement.

"In addition to aggressively restarting uranium production, we will also continue to rapidly advance our rare earth element processing and other plans, which are expected to become significant value streams that complement our core uranium business."

Chalmers expects 2024 production rates between 1.1 million to 1.4 million lb of uranium per year once production ramps up between the three mines at Pinyon Plain, La Sal and Pandora.

The company also has two additional mines in Colorado and Wyoming expecting production within a year and is advancing permitting on several other large-scale uranium projects lined up in the coming years.

With intense U.S. focus on the security of domestic critical mineral supplies, Energy Fuels – also a U.S. producer of rare earth elements and vanadium– is in an excellent position to ramp up uranium production to take advantage of favorable policy and market conditions.

"Numerous established and emerging clean energy technologies require specialized advanced materials produced from minerals that are naturally radioactive when they are mined, due to the presence of uranium and other elements. Energy Fuels is uniquely capable of processing these minerals and producing a number of these advanced materials. I know of no other public company in the world that can potentially execute these unique plans on the scale we have planned," Chalmers said.

The current fleet of U.S. nuclear plants provides about 20% of all electricity in the U.S. and about 50% of the nation's carbon-free electricity.

Energy Fuels is recognized globally as a dependable U.S. uranium supplier that operates to the highest environmental, safety, and efficiency standards and has supplied roughly two-thirds of all uranium produced in the U.S. over the past five years.


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