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Energy Fuels sees revenue of US$31mln in pivotal 2017 as weak uranium market continues

A total of 1.57mln pounds of U3O8 were recovered by the company, of which 624,000 pounds were for the company's own account
Energy Fuels sees revenue of US$31mln in pivotal 2017 as weak uranium market continues
A total of 520,000 pounds of U3O8 (triuranium octoxide) sales were made at an average realized price of $47.05 per pound

Energy Fuels Inc (TSE:EFR, NYSE:UUUU) became the largest uranium producer in the United States in 2017, it told investors, posting revenues for the year of US$31mln (2016: US$54.5mln).

The net loss was US$27.9mln, narrowed from a loss of US$39.8mln the previous year.

READ - Energy Fuels set for operations expansion in Utah after La Sal Complex approval

Gross profit for what the firm said was another 'pivotal' year to end December was US$8.3mln from mining and milling operations.

A total of 520,000 pounds of U3O8 (triuranium octoxide) sales were made at an average realized price of $47.05 per pound.

A total of 1.57mln pounds of U3O8 were recovered by the company, of which 624,000 pounds were for the company's own account and 946,000 pounds were for a tolling customer.

"Amidst continued weakness in uranium markets, we became the largest uranium producer in the United States, the culmination of a multiyear strategy for us," said Mark S. Chalmers, the president and chief executive.

"In order to remain strong in these challenging uranium markets, Energy Fuels continues to secure new sources of alternate feed materials and to pursue opportunities in the cleanup of abandoned uranium mines to feed the White Mesa mill in 2018 and beyond.

READ THE BIG PIC - Energy Fuels poised to pounce on uranium market upturn

"Vanadium also represents a very interesting opportunity for us.

"Vanadium prices are up over 400% since 2016, and our White Mesa mill has produced over 45mln pounds during its history, which is over $500-million at today's vanadium prices. We are evaluating a number of very short-term opportunities to profit from recent vanadium market strength."

Chalmers also said the firm had sought an import quota that reserves 25% of the US nuclear market for US uranium.

"The remedies, if granted, would be expected to strengthen the U.S. uranium mining industry, bolster national defence, and improve supply diversification for U.S. utilities and their customers."

Energy Fuels holds three of America's key uranium production centres, the White Mesa mill in Utah, the Nichols Ranch processing facility in Wyoming and the Alta Mesa project in Texas.

It also produces vanadium as a byproduct of its uranium production from certain of its mines on the Colorado plateau.

Among the highlights for the year was a new resource estimate for uranium and copper at the Canyon mine in Arizona.

In total, the Canyon mine is estimated to contain 139,000 tons of measured and indicated mineral resources with an average grade of 0.88% U3O8 containing 2,434,000 pounds of uranium, along with 18,000 tons of inferred resources with an average grade of 0.38% U3O8 containing 134,000 pounds of uranium.

It means the total uranium resources increased by around 1mln pounds of U3O8 over the previous resource estimate.

Looking ahead, Energy Fuels expects to  produce around 140,000 to 160,000 pounds of uranium in the year to end December, 2018, from Nichols Ranch.

During 2018,, the company expects to recover approximately 320,000 to 360,000 pounds of uranium at the White Mesa mill for its own account. All of this uranium is expected to be from alternative feed materials and pond return.

The company is also actively pursuing opportunities to process new and additional alternative feed sources, low-grade ore from third parties.

It is also evaluating the possibility of recovering vanadium from existing pond solutions at the White Mesa mill.

Separately today, Energy Fuels said it had appointed Barbara Filas as a director, filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Ames Brown last year.

Chalmers said Filas was "universally recognized as a leader in the global mining industry".

"We look forward to benefitting from her perspectives on Energy Fuels' many opportunities, including our 232 Petition on uranium, land cleanup work, vanadium production potential, and of course continuing to be the leader in U.S. uranium production."

Energy Fuels shares ticked 0.98% higher to stand at C$2.06.

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