Former GM Minerals Expert Advances Rare Earth Business in Detroit

Debra Bennethum, a former General Motors Co. EV critical minerals manager in the automaker’s Global Purchasing and Supply Chain Division, has joined Colorado-based Energy Fuels Inc. a leading producer of uranium, rare earth elements (REE), and vanadium.
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Energy Fuels in Colorado has hired former GM minerals expert Debra Bennethum to boost its automotive rare earth materials sales. // Stock photo

Debra Bennethum, a former General Motors Co. EV critical minerals manager in the automaker’s Global Purchasing and Supply Chain Division, has joined Colorado-based Energy Fuels Inc. a leading producer of uranium, rare earth elements (REE), and vanadium.

Bennethum will work out of the Detroit area as director of critical minerals and strategic supply chain.

In her new role, Bennethum’s will fill a “critical role” in the company’s REE sales and marketing enterprises, including cultivating relationships with original equipment manufacturers and other customers, negotiating supply, offtake and/or other agreements for the company’s REE products, evaluating REE collaborations in metal-making, alloying, and/or magnet-making, and assisting in evaluating, and potentially pursuing, government funding and other support.

“I would like to personally welcome Debra Bennethum to the Energy Fuels team,” says Mark S. Chalmers, president and CEO of Energy Fuels. “Ms. Bennethum brings a wealth of knowledge and relationships in EV and automotive supply chains to advance Energy Fuels’ U.S.-leading, integrated rare earth business, which recently began commercial production of ‘on spec’ separated rare earths at our White Mesa Mill in Utah.”

While at GM, Bennethum executed supply strategies to ensure resilient EV critical mineral supply chains, which included the REEs for production of permanent magnets as well as battery-critical minerals. She also identified innovative suppliers, vetted technical merit, evaluated cost competitiveness, and led negotiations for long-term supply arrangements. She further managed more than $1.5 billion in investment projects from conception to execution, collaborating with engineering and internal stakeholders to ensure resilient supply chains for GM.