Energy Fuels to Mine Rare Earths in Brazil

20. May 2022 | Market

U.S. mining company secures potential deposits of the strategic commodity in the state of Bahia.

Energy Fuels, a U.S. producer of rare earths, plans to mine the critical commodity in Brazil. A release indicates that binding purchase agreements have been signed for a total of 15,089.71 hectares of land, located between the cities of Prado and Caravelas in the state of Bahia. According to previous drilling, “significant quantities” of minerals are said to be located there, including monazite, one of the most important sources of rare earths.

So far, no mining has been carried out at the so-called Bahia project, but there are several exploration and mining permits issued by the Brazilian government. According to Energy Fuels, the production potential is 1,500 to 5,000 metric tons of rare earth oxide annually, potentially for decades. Further processing of the feedstock is to take place at a plant in the U.S. and at the company’s White Mesa Mill production facility. Whether part of the processing can be carried out in Basilien in the future is currently being examined.

The transaction is a “very significant step in Energy Fuels’ development as a major global rare earth element producer based in the United States,” says President and CEO Mark S. Chalmers. The company, which originally specialized in uranium mining, entered the rare earth market two years ago and is building a value chain for the critical commodity independent of China. Just recently, Energy Fuels brought a key production step back to the U.S. with the successful partial separation of rare earths at its White Mesa Mill (we reported).

Map: iStock/Olli Turho

Featured image: iStock/jasonbennee

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