Energy Fuels Moves Closer to Vanadium Production Restart

Date: Oct 26, 2018

Uranium producer Energy Fuels (TSX:EFR,NYSEAMERICAN:UUUU) announced plans to restart vanadium production in early August, and has now released initial results from a test-mining program targeting the metal at its La Sal Complex in Utah.

The purpose of the test-mining program is to evaluate different approaches to identify and extract high-grade vanadium zones, enhancing productivity and decreasing recovery and associated costs.

Vanadium production has become especially attractive in recent months as the metal has experienced a significant price bump due to increased demand for both V2O5 flake and ferrovanadium, which are essential in high-strength magnet and steel alloy manufacturing, respectively.

The price of vanadium has steadily climbed for most of 2018, from approximately US$12 per pound in January to US$32.50 today (October 25).

Despite being known for uranium, Energy Fuels previously produced vanadium until 2013, when prices dipped to roughly US$5, making mining for the industrial metal economically unviable.

Now that the price has skyrocketed by 170 percent it makes sense for the energy producer to restart the production process. The La Sal site is a top priority because it has the potential produce 2 to 3 million pounds of V2O5 per year.

“We believe La Sal is the best vanadium mine in the US due to its costs, resource size, permitting status and technical feasibility. This is proven by the fact that it has produced far more V2O5 than any other mine in the US over the past 10 years,” said Curtis Moore, VP marketing and corporate development.

“It is also one of the highest-grade vanadium mines in the world. So we’re very excited about the future of the La Sal Complex,” he added.

Whether it’s La Sal or one of the other vanadium projects Energy Fuels owns, the company believes it is well positioned to become the only North American vanadium producer, an ideal spot to be in as the price continues to climb.

“Energy Fuels is pleased to be the only company in the US that can provide shareholders with near-term exposure to both vanadium and uranium production, as market conditions warrant,” CEO Mark Chalmers said in a Thursday (October 25) announcement.

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