On Tuesday (January 30) Ucore Rare Metals, Inc. announced that it has been exploring the Bokan-Dotson ridge site on Prince of Wales Island as a possible new mine.
On Tuesday (January 30) Ucore Rare Metals, Inc. (TSX:UCU) announced that it has been exploring the Bokan-Dotson ridge site on Prince of Wales Island as a possible new mine.
As quoted in the press release:
The site analysis was conducted by Mike Schrider, P.E., V.P. Operations and Engineering of Ucore. Consideration was given to multiple domestic locations, including sites in South Eastern, South Central and Western United States. In addition to the fundamental decision to initiate a rare earth element (“REE”) SMC; selection criteria included logistical considerations such as the ease of access to international shipping corridors, industrial infrastructure, permitting considerations, and potential for local incentives and State funding programs.
The site selection program has identified Ketchikan as the premier location for construction of the SMC. The City and Borough of Ketchikan, with greater than 13,000 residents, is the southernmost population center in the State of Alaska, located on the protected and weather-temperate Inside Passage. The location is in proximity to a major container port and rail head at Prince Rupert, BC, 100 km to the Southeast, with the two locales connected by routing via the Alaska Marine Highway. Ketchikan features deep water port, barge-container facilities and direct access to markets in the US and the Pacific Rim by way of ocean vessel, the lowest-cost mode of bulk transport. Ketchikan offers a unique work force, ice-free harbors and is in close proximity to Ucore’s flagship in-situ development project, the Bokan Dotson-Ridge Rare Earth Project (“Bokan”).
The SMC will target the separation of rare earth containing concentrates to coincide with the increasing demand for electric vehicles and the need to provide a domestic supply of individual REE oxides for US commercial and military technologies. Feedstock from locations in the continental US, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia are under consideration. The Ketchikan SMC will also potentially serve as the separation plant for REEs mined from the Bokan project into individual saleable rare earth oxides. Ucore envisions one or two additional SMCs strategically located within the U.S. to provide domestic supply of REE oxides and other critical metals required to support North American manufacturing and security.
Mike Schrider, P.E., V.P. operations and engineering of Ucore, commented:
Engineering and economic studies have confirmed that Ketchikan is our preferred location to construct our first strategic and critical metals separation facility. Additional engineering and product specification criteria are being initiated at this time targeting rare earth by-products and primary concentrates from non-Chinese sourced projects world-wide. The intent is also to maintain the processing flexibility and capacity to accommodate ore concentrate from the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Project, once that project has been developed.