Energy Fuels to Develop Large-Scale Rare Earth Elements Project to Bolster U.S. Supply Chain for EV Market

Jan. 2, 2024
The Donald Project would provide Energy Fuels with up to 14,000 metric tons of REEC each year – supplying the critical elements necessary to produce up to 1.4 million electric vehicles annually

Energy Fuels, a U.S. producer of rare earth elements (REE), has entered a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Astron Corporation Ltd. to jointly develop the Donald Rare Earth and Mineral Sands Project (the Donald Project) in the Wimmera Region of the State of Victoria, Australia.

The Donald Project is a “shovel-ready” critical mineral deposit that Energy Fuels hypothesizes would provide it with a low-cost, large-scale source of monazite sand in a rare earth element concentrate (REEC), which would be transported to the company’s White Mesa Mill in Utah for processing into advanced REE materials.

REEs are known for containing materials, such as dysprosium oxide and terbium oxide, which are key ingredients in permanent REE magnets used by manufacturers to produce electric vehicles, wind generators, and other advanced technologies.

"Energy Fuels is working to secure future large-scale in-situ rare earth element projects around the world, which we expect to become low-cost sources of feed to supply our U.S.-centric REE supply chain in the coming years,” said Mark Chalmers, President and CEO of Energy Fuels. “Energy Fuels' goal is to source monazite from the US and around the World and become a reliable, globally diversified, multi-decade supplier of U.S.-produced magnet REE oxides to EV manufacturers and other end-users.”

In total, the Donald Project, supported by a proposed investment of approximately $122 million, would provide Energy Fuels with 7,000 to 14,000 metric tons of REEC each year – enough materials to supply the critical elements necessary to produce up to 1.4 million electric vehicles per year.

Additionally, the REEC from the Project is expected to contain approximately 50,000 to 100,000 pounds of low-cost recoverable uranium annually, which would be sold to the U.S. nuclear industry to generate carbon-free electricity.

These efforts would effectively create a new significant REE supply chain capable of reducing America’s reliance on REEs from China.

Most of the proposed investment is expected to be disbursed in 2025, with commissioning and ramp-up scheduled to begin in 2026. The Donald Project will be completed in two phases, during which Energy Fuels will enter into an offtake agreement for 100% of the Project's REEC production, based on the market price of the contained REEs. 

About the Author

Breanna Sandridge, Senior Editor

Breanna Sandridge is senior editor for EnergyTech and Microgrid Knowledge, both part of the energy group at Endeavor Business Media.

Prior to that, Breanna was managing editor for Machinery Lubrication and Reliable Plant magazines, both part of Noria Corp. She has two years experience covering the industrial sector.

She also is a 2021 graduate of Northeastern State University (Oklahoma) with a Bachelor's in English.