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400% price hike prompts Energy Fuels to restart vanadium recovery at White Mesa

VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – A 400% rise in vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) prices over the last 24 months has prompted US-based uranium producer Energy Fuels to resume vanadium recovery operations at its flagship White Mesa mill, in Utah, this year.

The lithium-ion battery-making ingredient has reached new ten-year highs of more than $15/lb, making the “significant” identified concentrations of dissolved vanadium in pond solutions at the mill profitable, the company advised.

“Due to recent vanadium price strength and bullish market sentiment, we are evaluating a number of opportunities to resume cash-flow-positive and sustainable vanadium recovery, including today's announcement of our campaign to recover vanadium from the mill's pond solutions. If this campaign is successful, Energy Fuels would expect to become a commercial scale vanadium producer for the next few years, just from pond solutions,” president and CEO Mark Chalmers stated.

The White Mesa mill has a long history of conventional vanadium recovery, most recently producing 1.5-million pounds of vanadium in 2013. During its 38-year operating history, the mill has produced more than 45-million pounds of vanadium – or over $500-million of vanadium at today's prices, according to Energy Fuels.

The mill is the only operating conventional uranium recovery facility in the US, and, at the present time, is the only operating facility in the US with the near-term ability to resume vanadium recovery.

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