[Ferro-Alloys.com] Financial Highlights::As of September 30, 2023, the Company had a robust balance sheet with $162.50 million of working capital (versus $116.97 million as of December 31, 2022), including $54.54 million of cash and cash equivalents, $70.62 million of marketable securities, $27.66 million of inventory, and no debt. At current commodity prices, the Company's product inventory has a value of approximately $49.09 million;
During the three months ended September 30, 2023, the Company earned net income of $10.47 million, or $0.07 per share, which included: (i) the sale of 180,000 pounds of uranium ('U3O8') to a major U.S. nuclear utility for $10.47 million, resulting in a gross profit of $5.21 million (50%); (ii) sale of 26 metric tons ('MT') of RE Carbonate for $0.29 million; (iii) a non-cash mark-to-market gain on investments accounted for at fair value of $8.89 million; (iv) a non-cash unrealized gain on the secured convertible note received by the Company as partial consideration for the sale of the Company's Alta Mesa Project in Q1 2023 of $7.22 million and (v) interest income of $0.44 million; partially offset by (i) expenses associated with preparing four (4) of our uranium mines for production and (ii) expenses associated with developing commercial rare earth element ('REE') separation capabilities.
As of September 30, 2023, the Company held 586,000 pounds of U3O8, 906,000 pounds of finished vanadium pentoxide ('V2O5'), and 11 MT of finished high-purity, partially separated mixed REE carbonate ('RE Carbonate') in inventory.
The Company holds an additional 409,000 lbs. of U3O8 as raw materials and work-in-progress inventory, along with an estimated 1 - 3 million pounds of solubilized V2O5 in tailings solutions that could be recovered in the future.
Uranium Highlights: During Q3-2023, the Company completed the sale of 180,000 pounds of U3O8 to a major U.S. nuclear utility for $10.47 million, or $58.18 per pound, which resulted in a gross profit of $5.21 million or $28.93 per pound of U3O8. This sale resulted in a gross margin of 50% per pound of uranium. This was the Company's second delivery under its new portfolio of long-term uranium sales agreements.
In 2023, the Company has sold a total of 560,000 pounds of uranium for a weighted average realized price of $59.42 per pound resulting in a gross margin of 54%. The Company has no additional contract deliveries scheduled for the remainder of 2023.
Over the past several months, the Company has made significant progress in preparing four (4) of our conventional uranium and uranium/vanadium mines to be ready to resume production, including significant workforce expansion, and performing needed rehabilitation and development of surface and underground infrastructure. We expect to begin production at one or more of these mines by early 2024, with the mined material being stockpiled at the White Mesa Mill (the 'Mill') until such time that sufficient material is accumulated to justify a mill campaign, which is expected to occur in late-2024 or early-2025.
As of October 27, 2023, the spot price of U3O8 was $73.50 per pound and the long-term price of U3O8, which is the price most relevant for long-term uranium sales contracts, was $62.00 per pound, according to data from TradeTech.
Rare Earth Element Highlights::In early 2023, the Company began modifying and enhancing its existing solvent extraction ('SX') circuits at the Mill to be able to produce separated REE oxides ('Phase 1'). The Company has begun this development work in its existing SX building, and most of the major components for this project are currently being delivered to the Mill on time and on-budget.
'Phase 1' is expected to be completed and fully commissioned by early 2024 and have the capacity to produce roughly 800 to 1,000 MT of recoverable separated neodymium-praseodymium ('NdPr') oxide per year, subject to securing sufficient monazite feed. 'Phase 1' is expected to position Energy Fuels as one of the world's leading producers of NdPr outside of China.
'Phase 1' capital costs are expected to total approximately $25 million. 1,000 MT of NdPr in permanent magnets could power up to 1 million electric vehicles ('EVs') per year.
The Company is engineering further enhancements at the Mill to increase NdPr production capacity to up to approximately 3,000 MT per year by 2026/2027 ('Phase 2'), and to produce separated dysprosium ('Dy'), terbium ('Tb') and potentially other advanced REE materials in the future from monazite and potentially other REE process streams by 2027/2028 ('Phase 3').
During the first half of 2023, the Company completed 2,266 meters of sonic drilling at its Bahia Project in Brazil to confirm and further delineate the rare earth, titanium, and zirconium mineralization. The Company expects to commence further sonic drilling later in Q4-2023. Drilling results from the first round of drilling are expected in early 2024 at which time the Company plans to commence preparation of an SK-1300 and NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate.
The Company continues active discussions with several additional suppliers of natural monazite around the world to significantly increase the supply of feed for our growing REE initiative.
As of October 27, 2023, the spot price of NdPr oxide was approximately $69.64 per kg, according to data from Asian Metal.
Vanadium Highlights: During the three months ended September 30, 2023, the Company sold no vanadium.
The Company produces high-purity V2O5 from time-to-time when the Mill schedule allows and carries that material in inventory for sale into market strength, including during Q1-2023 when the Company sold approximately 79,344 pounds of V2O5 for an average realized sales price of $10.98 per pound.
The Company currently holds approximately 906,000 pounds of V2O5 in inventory.
As of October 27, 2023, the spot price of V2O5 was $6.73 per pound, according to data from Fastmarkets.
Medical Isotope Highlights: The Company continued advancing its program to evaluate the potential to recover radioisotopes from its process streams for use in emerging targeted alpha therapy ('TAT') cancer therapeutics.
Mark S. Chalmers, Energy Fuels' President and CEO, stated: Energy Fuels continued to make excellent progress during Q3-2023 in creating a U.S. critical mineral hub for the production of uranium, rare earth elements, vanadium, and potentially radioisotopes for the development of medical isotopes. Energy Fuels has been the largest producer of uranium in the U.S. for the past several years, and we are commercially producing the most advanced rare earth materials in the U.S. while moving further down the rare earth supply chain.
'On uranium, we completed the sale of 180,000 pounds of uranium to one of our utility customers under one of our long-term contracts, realizing total proceeds of $10.47 million, or $58.18 per pound of U3O8, slightly beating our previous guidance of $54 - $58 per pound. We also continued preparing four (4) of our conventional uranium mines for production, which together, have the ability to produce 1 million to 1.3 million pounds of uranium per year, not including vanadium credits of potentially 2 million pounds per year, at full production rates. We expect to begin production at one or more of these mines by early 2024, with the mined material being stockpiled at the White Mesa Mill until a sufficient quantity is accumulated to justify a mill campaign, which is expected to occur in late-2024 or early-2025, subject to contract requirements and successful operations.
'There are significant 'tailwinds' currently driving uranium markets, including increasing prices and government policies. Uranium spot prices are up over 50% in 2023, which is improving our expected contract sales prices, increasing the value of our significant inventories, and increasing the value of our resources. At the same time, uranium spot markets are very tight, considerable money is flowing into the sector, geopolitical factors and security of supply are paramount, and market prices remain significantly at or below the levels needed to incentivize large-scale new production and below inflation-adjusted highs. These dynamics could cause prices to continue to rise higher, perhaps significantly so.
'Energy Fuels also remains on schedule to complete 'Phase 1' of our rare earth project at the White Mesa Mill in Utah, which involves modifications and enhancements to the Mill's existing SX building that are expected to have the capacity to produce approximately 800 - 1,000 metric tons of separated NdPr oxide per annum. We are refurbishing the Mill's existing SX building as part of this process, and we have completed the installation of a new roof and new concrete pads for the SX cells, tanks, pumps, and other equipment. We are also receiving the new SX cells, which are expected to be installed in Q4-2023. Upon successful ramp-up of the modified SX circuit and receipt of sufficient monazite feed, Energy Fuels is expected to be the first U.S. company in many years with the ability to produce commercial quantities of NdPr oxide, which is a key ingredient in powerful permanent rare earth magnets used in electric vehicles, wind generators, and other technologies.
'Later this year, we continue to expect to begin pilot work on 'heavy' rare earth separation, including the production of separated dysprosium (Dy) and terbium (Tb) oxides. At the same time, we continue to move our Bahia Rare Earth Project in Brazil forward toward production and secure additional sources of monazite supply to process at the Mill for rare earth production, while advancing discussions with end-users.
'Energy Fuels' business strategy and execution sits at an intersection of rapidly growing commodity markets, critical to the clean energy transition. And, as a U.S. company, we offer customers security of supply and insulation from geopolitical turmoil. We plan to continue to leverage these unique advantages to the benefit of our shareholders as we rapidly advance our plans.'