The rare earth company Neo Performance Materials (NPM) and Energy Fuels (EF) have launched a new production plan involving key material supply chains in Europe and North America.This plan will use natural monazite, a by-product of heavy mineral sands in the southeastern United States, to produce value-added rare earth products. In Utah, EF will process monazite ore into mixed rare earth carbonates, which will provide raw materials for NPM's rare earth separation plant in Estonia.
NPM Company further processed carbonates into products for rare earth permanent magnets and other advanced materials based on rare earths. The company's Silmet plant is the only rare earth separation facility in production in Europe.Once it reaches commercial scale, this new rare earth supply chain is expected to use U.S. monazite as a raw material to produce rare earth materials for the first time in 20 years.The value of typical monazite ore is higher than that of other rare earth ore, because its rare earth content is as high as 50%-60%, and it also contains 0.2%-0.3% recyclable uranium, which is comparable to the raw material grade of the White Mesa uranium mine. quite.
This means that in addition to extracting high-grade rare earth concentrates from monazite ore, the White Mesa Concentrator can also extract uranium, and EF can sell its products to nuclear power plants.EF can produce rare earth carbonates from natural monazite ore produced by Chemours operating in the United States. The latter has a contract to supply 2,500 tons of ore produced in Georgia and other parts of the southeastern United States.According to the results of the commercial-scale pilot project of the White Mesa Concentrator, NPM's Silmet Separation Plant can process at least 840 tons of rare earth oxides from EF every year based on the current capacity. This is equivalent to 80% of EF's current production of rare earth products obtained from Chemours.
EF company is also seeking to obtain other monazite ore supply, the goal is to achieve an annual processing capacity of 15,000 tons. This is equivalent to 2% of White Mesa's current production capacity, but it can meet half of the current demand for rare earths in the United States.EF said that in addition to the United States, other countries with large-scale monazite resource companies include Australia, India and South Africa.