IperionX and Energy Fuels assemble for U.S. rare earth supply chain security
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Last year IperionX signed an MOU with Energy Fuels for the supply of natural monazite sands from its Titan project in Tennessee to Energy Fuels’ White Mesa Mill in Utah.
The ultimate aim is to evaluate expanding the collaboration to establish a fully-integrated permanent rare earth magnet supply chain in the U.S.
And now Energy Fuels has just confirmed via laboratory evaluation of IperionX’s rare earth mineral concentrates – including monazite and xenotime – that the minerals are suitable as a high-quality feedstock to supply its ongoing commercial production of mixed rare earth carbonate.
The Titan project contains the light rare earths neodymium and praseodymium, as well as the highly valuable heavy rare earths, terbium and dysprosium within the rare earth product.
“We are happy to be rapidly advancing our collaboration with Energy Fuels to establish a rare earths supply chain right here in the USA,” IperionX (ASX:IPX) MD and CEO Anastasios Arima said.
“As is currently being highlighted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the import dependence of the U.S. for key critical minerals, including rare earths and titanium, presents a huge threat to the security of key domestic industries.
“The collaboration with Energy Fuels highlights the importance of IperionX’s Titan Project in enabling the US to deliver a clean energy future, particularly given the critical importance of meaningful sources of North American monazite.”
There is an increasing demand for rare earths used in high strength permanent magnets found in power dense electric motors used in electric vehicles and wind turbines that makes up a significant amount of global consumption.
The rare earths dysprosium and terbium are essential for the production of permanent magnets used in clean energy, as well as for military and other high technology solutions.
There is only minor production of dysprosium and terbium outside of China, and almost no production within the USA.
Currently, almost all US rare earth mineral production is processed overseas, primarily in China – which makes Energy Fuels’ current rare earth carbonate production, and future separated rare earth oxide production, as well as its potential metal and alloy production – highly strategic.
“We are seeking sources of natural monazite ore to feed our rare earth initiative, with a particular interest in U.S. sources, like Titan,” Energy Fuels president and CEO Mark Chalmers said.
“In the next few years, we expect to be producing separated light rare earth oxides at our mill in Utah, USA.
“In addition, we are currently performing successful, high-purity separations through NdPr in our mill laboratory, and we just began performing lanthanum separation at commercial scale using existing equipment at the mill.
“With supply partners like IperionX, we are quickly moving toward creating a new, low-cost, fully-integrated rare earth magnet supply chain here in the U.S.”
This article was developed in collaboration with IperionX Limited, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.