August 22, 2023
Depending on foreign nations, especially adversaries like Russia and China, for the materials that fuel our energy sector puts the U.S. at considerable risk. Whether it’s the minerals that build our energy infrastructure or the fuel sources required by power plants, having a domestic supply to rely on is not just a matter of energy security, but also impacts our economic and national security. Take uranium, for example. Since the 1990s, despite ample domestic reserves, the U.S. has increasingly relied on imported uranium for use in nuclear power plants. Our near complete import reliance for uranium is concerning, including 60 percent of our uranium imports coming from Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The U.S. is currently heavily reliant on China for advanced rare earth materials needed for EVs, wind energy, and other advanced technologies, including those needed for national defense. This need not be the case, whether for uranium, rare earths or other energy materials.
Energy Fuels is a leading U.S. producer of uranium, with numerous projects in Arizona, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico, as well as the only operating conventional uranium mill in the U.S. The White Mesa Mill has a licensed capacity of over 8 million pounds of uranium per year. Furthermore, Energy Fuels is also producing the most advanced rare earth material in the U.S. Rare earths are used in powerful magnets needed for EVs, wind turbines, and countless other applications across various industries. A specific component of these magnets is NdPr oxide, which Energy Fuels expects to produce in early 2024, along with other “heavy” rare earth oxides in 2027. Relying on domestic sources helps bolster our energy security and ensure reliability of our energy grid.