HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA–(Marketwired – Feb. 8, 2017) – Ucore Rare Metals, Inc. (TSX VENTURE:UCU)(OTCQX:UURAF) (“Ucore” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the completion of the first stage detailed engineering plan for the Platinum Group Metals (“PGM” – rhodium, palladium and platinum) refinery phase of its US Strategic Metals Complex (the “SMC” or the “Plant”). The SMC is a joint venture between Ucore and IBC Advanced Technologies of American Fork, Utah (“IBC”) (See Ucore Press Releases dated November 15, 2016 and December 7, 2016).
The design has now been satisfactorily reviewed by Mike Schrider, P.E., V.P. of Operations and Engineering of Ucore Rare Metals Inc.
“As set out in our recent releases, the detailed engineering work on the Company’s U.S. Strategic Metals Complex continues with success,” said Jim McKenzie, President and CEO of Ucore. “IBC, in consultation with a European engineering partner (identity withheld under a non-disclosure agreement) has delivered a detailed infrastructural plan for the non-MRT circuits of the PGM refinery. The non-MRT designs have been thoroughly reviewed by our engineering staff in preparation for integration with the MRT SuperLig® separation circuits and within the design of the overall production facility.”
“The ‘Stage A’ processing circuits will prepare the PGM-bearing input material for submission to the SuperLig® metal separation process.” said Mike Schrider. “The design will accommodate unpurified PGM bearing metal alloys (from third party sourced recycled catalytic converters) as input material to the MRT process, and then transform the high purity rhodium, palladium and platinum concentrate MRT output into high value products such as individual PGM sponge and specialty salts, both in high demand in US markets.”
PGM Phase – Detailed Engineering
The PGM refinery is being specifically designed to receive, process and separate recycled catalytic converter material which has been concentrated to a metal alloy via a plasma arc smelter. The refinery design consists of three distinct processing areas: (i) Pre-MRT post-smelter metal alloy dissolution; (ii) MRT (SuperLig®) PGM metal separations; and (iii) Post-MRT PGM sponge and specialty salt making.
The final PGM refinery design allows for an ultimate annual production capacity of 750,000 troy ounces (all Stages complete) comprised of 99.95% Rhodium, 99.98% Palladium and 99.98% Platinum pure sponge material and or specialty salts. The spatial design of the PGM refinery will utilize a 25,600 square foot facility situated on a 3 acre complex.
SuperLig® technology is the cornerstone of this advanced zero-waste discharge “green” PGM refinery, based on the principles of Molecular Recognition Technology (MRT). The design of the PGM circuits are a direct beneficiary of Ucore’s successful SuperLig®-One Rare Earth Element (REE) pilot plant completed in Utah in 2016, which incorporated automation systems designed by IBC. The PGM refinery is being designed for maximum value automation, adjusting to varying PGM concentration levels contained in the smelted metal alloy. MRT has the potential to reduce processing times, reducing “locked up” inventory values and potentially improving economics relative to traditional PGM refining circuits.
REE Phase – Detailed Engineering
The Company is nearing final selection of REE bearing feedstock for the other phase of the SMC, a U.S. based REE separation refinery. Upon finalization of the feedstock selection, similar engineering efforts will commence, also leveraging the work undertaken with the SuperLig®-One rare earth pilot plant (see Ucore Press release dated Sept. 26, 2016). Progress on this critical aspect of the SMC will be detailed in forthcoming announcements.
Supply of rare earth elements and China’s domination of the sector has been a matter of increasing discussion in U.S. political arenas, with concerns over the propensity of China to leverage a practical monopoly of REE production for military, clean energy and high technology applications. See link: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/02/03/chinas-secret-trump-card-could-beijing-deprive-our-military-critical-defense-components.html
SMC Site Selection
Site(s) selection for the SMC is still under Company review, driven by logistical metrics and the singular principle of providing North America with refined technology metals by providing a security of supply, independent of Chinese sourcing and technology.
Michael Schrider, P.E., V.P. of Operations and Engineering of Ucore Rare Metals Inc., has approved the scientific and technical content of this news release and is the Qualified Person responsible for its accuracy under NI 43-101 regulations. Mr. Schrider, holds a B.Sc. degree in engineering from the University of New Orleans and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Louisiana.
Ucore Rare Metals is a development-phase company focused on rare metals resources, extraction and beneficiation technologies.The Company has a 100% ownership stake in the Bokan project. On March 31, 2014, Ucore announced the unanimous support of the Alaska State Legislature for the investment of up to USD $145 Million in the Bokan project at the discretion of the Alaska Import Development and Export Agency (“AIDEA”).
This press release includes certain statements that may be deemed “forward-looking statements”. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address future exploration drilling, exploration activities, research and development timelines, and events or developments that the Company expects, are forward looking statements. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include exploitation and exploration successes or setbacks, research and develop successes or setbacks, continued availability of financing, and general economic, market or business conditions.
MRT is at advanced testing stages and has yet to be proven, at a commercial scale, for the separation of rare earth elements. The Company has not yet released an economic assessment on the use of MRT for the separation of rare earth elements and does not yet have any specific contracts for the processing of rare earths using MRT.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined by the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Mr. Jim McKenzie
President and Chief Executive Officer
+1 (902) 482-5214