Ucore conducted Bokan field mapping work in September 2021Ucore to conduct the Bokan channel and bulk sampling program during the Summer 2022 field seasonAll required state and federal permits are now in hand for the Summer 2022 field seasonUcore Rare Metals Inc. is pleased to announce that on November 10, 2021, the United States Department of Agriculture's Forest Service issued a 1-year authorization for Ucore to ...
  • Ucore conducted Bokan field mapping work in September 2021
  • Ucore to conduct the Bokan channel and bulk sampling program during the Summer 2022 field season
  • All required state and federal permits are now in hand for the Summer 2022 field season

Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSXV: UCU) (OTCQX: UURAF) ("Ucore" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that on November 10, 2021, the United States Department of Agriculture's Forest Service (the "USFS") issued a 1-year authorization for Ucore to commence with the Dotson Ridge 2021 Surface Exploration Project Plan of Operations (the "Project"). The Company has elected to conduct the sampling work during next summer's field season and now has all required state and federal Project permits for this work.

On May 12, 2021, Ucore announced the Project to upgrade its Bokan-Dotson Ridge heavy rare earth element ("HREE") mineral resource, disclosed in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101"), with a budget of approximately $400,000. The Project is expected to result in converting approximately 17-20% of the mineral resource to a new Measured mineral resource category; with over 90% of the new Measured material being drawn from currently Indicated mineral resource material and 10% from currently Inferred mineral resource material. This will be accomplished through the execution of approximately 50 additional channel samplings along the ≈2 km of exposed vein outcroppings of the Dotson Ridge Zone. Secondly, the Company will conduct bulk sampling activities to obtain ≈50 tonnes of additional mineralized material to facilitate prospective pilot-scale testing of its metallurgical recovery methods currently under laboratory-scale finalization at SGS Canada's Lakefield facility.

In September 2021, Ucore's COO, Mike Schrider, and Aurora Geosciences' General Manager, Alaska, Jim Robinson, P.Geo., conducted field mapping work to physically identify the two bulk sample areas and to coordinate next summer's field activities. Both of these activities are to ready the Company to conduct a Pre-Feasibility Study ("PFS") and/or a Feasibility Study ("FS") in the near future as the REO market continues to indicate a steady increase in response to the advent of the global adoption of electric vehicles ("EVs").

The Bokan Mountain Complex has approximately nine different historical REE mineralization zones[i] but only one of these, the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Zone, has been the focus of Ucore's rare earth mineral resource development. The Bokan-Dotson Ridge mineral resource remains open down-dip and along strike. After the Summer 2022 fieldwork is completed, the Company intends to conduct any additional exploration activities concurrently with prospective mine development activities.

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Figure 1- Bulk Sampling Marking of REE Vein Outcroppings at Bokan-Dotson Ridge, September 22, 2021

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"The long-term development of Bokan is a fundamental tenet of our Alaska 2023 Plan, and Ucore is committed to the establishment of a heavy rare earth element mineral reserve and eventual mine at the Bokan-Dotson Ridge project," said Ucore VP & COO, Mike Schrider, P.E. "While we have the long-term development of the Bokan Mountain Complex in our sights, we are also committed to the near-term development of a comprehensive US-centric rare earth element supply chain. In our view, this starts with the development of the environmentally sound and technologically efficient Alaska Strategic Metals Complex ["SMC"] rare earth processing facility based on RapidSX™ separation technology. And the concurrent development of the accompanying infrastructure required to support the upstream and downstream elements of this emerging supply chain through the association of key industry suppliers, partners, and customers."

The advancements at Bokan are just one of many steps in the development of the ALASKA2023 Plan that Ucore is currently progressing, including:

  • Through its wholly owned subsidiary Innovation Metals Corp. ("IMC"), commercial demonstration and deployment of the RapidSX™ separation technology platform
  • Securing third-party allied-sourced feedstock for the Alaska SMC (see Ucore's October 19, 2021, news release regarding the MOU with Vital Metals)
  • Engineering planning for the Alaska SMC REE separation & purification plant founded on modern RapidSX™ technology
  • Securing offtake agreements for the sale of rare earth oxides
  • Forming strategic alliances for the production of rare earth metals and oxides
  • Working with prospective partners for various sources of project funding:
  • Engineering and testing for the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Zone mill flowsheet
  • Community and stakeholder engagement to ensure prudent environmental, social and corporate governance ("ESG") activities

###

About Ucore Rare Metals Inc.

Ucore is focused on rare- and critical-metals resources, extraction, beneficiation, and separation technologies with the potential for production, growth, and scalability. Ucore has a 100% ownership stake in the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Rare Earth Element Project in Southeast Alaska, USA. Ucore's vision and plan is to become a leading advanced technology company, providing best-in-class metal separation products and services to the mining and mineral extraction industry.

Through strategic partnerships, Ucore's vision includes disrupting the People's Republic of China's ("PRC") control of the US REE supply chain through the development of a heavy rare-earth processing facility - the Alaska Strategic Metals Complex in Southeast Alaska and the long-term development of Ucore's heavy rare earth element mineral resource property located at Bokan Mountain on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska.

Ucore is listed on the TSXV under the trading symbol "UCU" and in the United States on the OTC Markets' OTCQX® Best Market under the ticker symbol "UURAF".

For further information, please visit www.ucore.com.

Qualified Person

Ronald James (Jim) Robinson, B.Sc., P.Geo., an independent geologist and General Manager of Aurora Geosciences (Alaska) Ltd. of Juneau, Alaska, has prepared the technical data provided in this news release and is the qualified person responsible for its accuracy.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements" regarding, among other things, the Company's ALASKA2023 Business Plan as well as the upcoming prospective financing activities involving the Company and AIDEA. All statements in this release (other than statements of historical facts) that address future business development, technological development and/or acquisition activities (including any related required financings), timelines, litigation outcomes, 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 or results and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements. In regard to the disclosure in the "About Ucore Rare Metals Inc." section above, the Company has assumed that it will be able to procure or retain additional partners and/or suppliers, in addition to IMC, as suppliers for Ucore's expected future Alaska Strategic Metals Complex ("Alaska SMC"). Ucore has also assumed that sufficient external funding will be found to prepare a new National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") technical report that demonstrates that the Bokan Mountain Rare Earth Elements project ("Bokan") is feasible and economically viable for the production of both REE and co-product metals and the then prevailing market prices based upon assumed customer off-take agreements. Ucore has also assumed that sufficient external funding will be secured to develop the specific engineering plans for the Alaska SMC and its construction. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include, without limitation: Innovation Metals Corp. ("IMC") failing to protect its intellectual property rights in RapidSX™; RapidSX failing to demonstrate commercial viability in large commercial-scale applications; Ucore not being able to procure additional key partners or suppliers for the Alaska SMC; Ucore not being able to raise sufficient funds to fund the specific design and construction of the Alaska SMC and/or the continued development of RapidSX; adverse capital-market conditions; unexpected due-diligence findings; the emergence of alternative superior metallurgy and metal-separation technologies; the inability of Ucore and/or IMC to retain its key staff members; a change in the legislation in Alaska and/or in the support expressed by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority ("AIDEA") regarding the development of Bokan and/or the Alaska SMC; the availability and procurement of any required interim and/or long-term financing that may be required; and general economic, market or business conditions.

Neither the TSXV nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined by the TSXV) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

CONTACT

Mark MacDonald
Vice President, Investor Relations
Ucore Rare Metals Inc.
902.482.5214
mark@ucore.com


[i] Warner, J.D. and Barker, J.C., 1989: Columbium and rare earth-bearing deposits at Bokan Mountain, Southeast Alaska. United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Open File Report 33-89

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What Are the Uses of Rare Earths?

There are 17 rare earth elements (REEs) in all — 15 lanthanides plus yttrium and scandium.

It's a fairly diverse group, with each element having different applications, pricing and available supply. However, REEs are often placed in the same basket because they do not occur separately from each other in nature. Additionally, before modern methods, rare earths were too difficult and expensive to separate.

As a recent report from Stormcrow Capital points out, “It is practically impossible to simply mine and refine one or two rare earths; either you mine and separate them all or you end up with something that sells for a very low price because the hard work remains to be done.”

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Ionic Rare Earths

Ionic Rare Earths

Overview

Rare earth metals are best classified as difficult to discover and extract. In 2019, nearly 60 percent of global annual production (an estimated 132,000 tonnes) came from China, with only 12.2 percent of production coming from the second largest producer, the United States. But, what are rare earth metals? And why are they more important than ever?

Rare earth metals are classified into two categories: light and heavy. Light rare earth elements (LREEs) are commonly available and include lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, and neodymium. Heavy rare earth elements (HREEs) are more difficult to source (and therefore more expensive), and include samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium, yttrium, and scandium.

Known as the seeds of technology, rare earth metals set to play an ever growing important role in the future of clean energy, as well as serving as a key ingredient in the permanent magnets found in wind turbines and electric vehicles. With such rapid forecast demand looming it’s clear why this segment of the mining industry is attracting attention.

Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR, or “IonicRE”) is an exploration and mining development company that aims to create rare opportunities for investors by operating a low capital operation with a high-margin product. The company currently has a 51 percent ownership (earning up to 60 percent) over the promising rare earth elements Makuutu project located in Uganda. Even though it is the company’s only project, the Makuutu project has a post-tax long-term free cash flow estimate of US$766 million over 11 years. This is expected to grow dramatically in the next 12 months as the company increases the resources to increase the potential life at Makuutu beyond 30 years.

The company is focused on developing its flagship Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda into a significant, long life, high margin, supplier of high-value critical and heavy rare earths. Makuutu is an advanced-stage, ionic adsorption clay (IAC) hosted rare earth element (REE) project highlighted by near-surface mineralisation, significant exploration upside, excellent metallurgical characteristics, and access to tier one infrastructure. The clay-hosted geology at Makuutu is similar to major IAC rare earths projects in southern China, which are responsible for the majority of global supply of low-cost, high value Heavy REOs (>95% originating from IAC). Metallurgical testing at Makuutu has returned excellent recovery rates, which provide multiple avenues for a low-CAPEX process route. Makuutu is well-supported by tier-one existing infrastructure which includes access to major highways, roads, power, water and a professional workforce.

Makuutu will produce a mixed rare earth carbonate (MREC) product, and is planning on developing a standalone refinery to then process the radionuclide MREC product to produce secure and traceable individual rare earths required to supply a growing western demand.

Key investor take-aways:

  • The Basket; High content of critical and heavy rare earths (73 percent) required to enable transition to carbon neutrality.
  • Low capital development (US$89M); Scalable modular approach means that we can expand the operation from initial capital investment using free cash flows from the project.
  • High payability mixed rare earth carbonate (MREC) with no radionuclides.
  • Long life; 27 years defined but scope to increase this to be much greater with additional exploration upside pending.
  • Investigating standalone heavy rare earth refinery to separate MREC into refined products for marketing to western end users.

Figure 1: Makuutu is quickly being defined as one of the world’s most strategically important rare earth projects.

Figure 2: Granit outcroppings south of the mineralisation trend, with the expansive Makuutu project area in the distant north.

Historically, the majority of rare earth metals have been produced in China. However, economically significant deposits are now being explored and developed all around the world due to the increased commercial interest in the element driven by desires to develop secure supply chains to meet dramatic increases in future demand.

Additionally, Makuutu is the third-largest scandium deposit on the planet with 9,450t+ of scandium available and near term potential for a step change in size.

“We’ve recently done some exploration drilling that indicated that the overall mineralization system of Makutuu is going to get a lot bigger, so we’re going to continue to add value to shareholders and build a very large project,” Tim Harrison said in a recent interview.

Figure 3: Phase 4 infill drilling at Makuutu which is expected to net a significant increase in resources at Makuutu.

Figure 4: Makuutu project location, 120 km east of Kampala, Uganda.

Makuutu may have a strong presence of scandium, but the project also serves as a “one-stop-shop” for many other rare earth elements, especially the high value and high demand magnet rare earths , neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium, and many others. There are 16 rare earth elements found in the Makuutu IAC mineralization, with lanthanum oxide, yttrium oxide, and neodymium oxide being found in the highest concentrations. Forecasting the price of all the rare earth elements found at Makuutu is how Ionic Rare Earths is expected to earn US$766 million over 11 years, with much more upside long term given sensitivity analysis indicated a 10% increase in rare earth prices projected a massive 30% increase in NPV post tax.

Ionic Rare Earths is led by a strong corporate management team with decades of applicable experience. Trevor Benson, the chairman, has over 30 years experience with investment banking and stockbroking, focusing on the resources sector. Tim Harrison, managing director, brings 20 years of experience in mineral processing and hydrometallurgy. Max McGarvie, the non-executive director, has 45 years of experience in mining development and mineral processing. Combined, the experienced management team is fully equipped to lead Ionic Rare Earths to success.

Ionic Rare Earth’s Company Highlights

  • Ionic Rare Elements is an exploration and mining company that is cultivating a promising basket of rare earth metals, which includes magnet rare earths neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium, in high demand to feed the insatiable demand for Evs and offshore wind turbines
  • Makuutu’s unique rare earth basket has the full list of all individual REEs required for the future industries dependent upon a secure and stable supply
  • The Makuutu project is a low-capital development that will produce a high-margin product
  • Rare earth metals already have many applications, but a forecast demand of these technology metals already exceeds potential supply indicating that long term REE procing is set for significant gains
  • The Makuutu project is considered the third-largest scandium resource globally, and has the potential to produce many other in-demand REEs
  • IonicRE is dedicated to developing and extracting value from the Makuutu project with a potential of extending the to 2050 and beyond
  • IonicRE is planning on developing heavy rare earth refining capacity and supplying western markets as the next step in maximising the value of the Makuutu basket in a climate of strained supply.

Ionic Rare Earth’s Key Projects

Makuutu Project

The Makuutu project covers an approximate area of 300 square kilometers and is located 120 kilometers away from Uganda’s capital city of Kampala. The project has a pre-existing tier-one infrastructure that consists of tarred roads, a nearby rail, power, water and even cell phone services. The project is fully accessible year-round.

Figure 5: Makuutu project and proximity to existing infrastructure.

The Makuutu project hosts the highly desirable mineralization of rare earth bearing ionic adsorption clay (IAC). IAC mineralizations have many numerous advantages over hard rock REE projects. IAC mineralizations are softer, near surface and have relatively low operating costs due to ease of mining, allow for simplistic processing methods, and possess mixed high-grade rare earth elements and a high value basket with no radionuclides. The low mining costs combined with a simple processing method create a low-cost operation that produces a high-margin product with a value that is expected to also see a step change increase as a stable global supply of scandium is demonstrated.

The current mineral resource estimate of the Makuutu project is 315 Million tonnes rated at 650 ppm TREO, at a cut-off grade of 200 ppm TREO-CeO2. One exciting upside to this project is that of the 37 km long mineralisation trend, the resource is defined within discrete areas across only a portion of the 26 kilometers drilled previously, and additional clay zones identified across the full mineralisation trend.

Ionic Rare Earths is using simple extraction and processing techniques that allow them to keep operating expenses low. This is possible because of the IAC mineralization that defines the area. The mineralization has a near-surface orebody that enables low-cost bulk mining with a low strip ratio.

Figure 6: Makuutu’s critical and heavy rare earth dominant basket has a high value and wide appeal.

This project is 100% owned by Ugandan company Rwenzori Rare Metals Limited, which has an ownership structure as follows; Ionic Rare Earths owns 51 percent, Rare Earths Elements Africa owns 42 percent(which is reducing), and Ugandan Partners hold 7 percent (which is reducing).

Ionic Rare Earth’s Management Team

Trevor Benson – Chairman

Trevor Benson has over 30 years of experience within investment banking and stockbroking, specializing in the resources sector. He has also worked for large Australian and international corporations and held a number of directorships with ASX-listed companies. Most recently he held the position of Executive Chairman and CEO for Walkabout Resources Ltd.

Benson’s focus within the investment banking industry was within SE Asia and China specializing in merger and acquisitions and equity capital market transactions and advising Australian and International companies, including being an exclusive adviser to Chinese State-Owned Enterprises, and Hong Kong-listed resource companies.

Benson has cross-border experience including Africa, UK, Hong Kong, and China and has advised and listed numerous ASX listed companies.

Tim Harrison – Managing Director

Tim Harrison initially joined the Company in the role of Project Manager of Makuutu Rare Earths Project at the start of 2020. Since then, he has been driving development and value creation, and was appointed CEO in June 2020 and was appointed Managing Director in December 2020.

Harrison holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and has over 20 years of experience and an extensive and successful track record in the fields of both mineral processing and hydrometallurgy across multiple commodities.

Harrison has been involved in project development, process and flowsheet development, studies, test work planning and supervision, engineering, construction, commissioning, operations and project management. Harrison has been engaged with operations and projects across Australia, Africa, Asia and Eurasia.

Jill Kelley – Executive Director

Jill Kelley has previously held roles at the highest levels of international leadership and has played a crucial role in supporting U.S. military operations spanning over 60 countries, collectively known as the U.S. Coalition Allies. Ms. Kelley’s networks in, and knowledge of, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and South and Central America have helped advance American interests during the most critical points in current history.

As former honorary ambassador to U.S. Central Command General Mattis and CIA Director David Petraeus, Kelley met regularly with Royals, Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Parliamentarians to foster military, security, and economic relationships. Kelley received the Pentagon’s esteemed Joint Chiefs of Staff Award for her leadership, along with the Multi-National Military Forces Award, an honour only bestowed upon a few individuals.

Max McGarvie – Non-Executive Director

Max McGarvie is a senior mining executive with an extensive portfolio of technical/managerial appointments in a career exceeding 45 years in mine development, mineral processing, operational and management roles across Australia, Africa and the Middle East.

He has a long and distinguished career in the mining industry, a significant portion of this with Iluka Resources Limited and prior entities, including development roles within its mineral sands operation at Eneabba, Western Australia and a major role in returning the Sierra Rutile mineral sands operation in Sierra Leone (operated by Iluka) to profitable operations following the civil war in that country.

McGarvie’s career has covered a range of senior roles in the mining sector including Production Manager, from Registered Mine Manager to CEO, and he has a deep knowledge and understanding of the African environment and project development in this theatre.

Brett Dickson – CFO and Company Secretary

Brett Dickson has over 20 years’ experience focusing on the start-up, restructuring, management, growth and financing of emerging publicly listed exploration and mining companies, including projects advancing from exploration through development to production. This experience ranges through a spectrum of activities; from capital and debt raisings, corporate restructuring and stock exchange listings.

Dickson has been a Director of, and involved in the executive management of, a number of publicly listed resource companies with operations in Australia, Nicaragua, Chile, Mexico, Finland, Ukraine, Laos, Papua New Guinea and South Africa.

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