Critical Metals

Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSXV: UCU) (OTCQX: UURAF) ("Ucore" or the "Company") is pleased to provide the following overview of its 2021 North American rare earth element ("REE") supply chain groundwork activities, accomplishments and continuing planned direction for 2022.

"Ucore has a very definitive vision and plan for an independent and comprehensive North American rare earth element supply chain," statedPat Ryan, P.Eng., Ucore Chairman and CEO. "To accomplish this, the fundamental component is the ability to have, first and foremost, operating commercial-scale rare earth separation plants. The ability to separate rare earth elements into oxides does not exist in North America today and is, therefore, the central objective of Ucore."

"This advancing capacity plan will then support the various downstream relationships that have been cultivated over this past year with prospective offtake OEMs and emerging ex-China metal, alloy, and magnet producers."

Cannot view this image? Visit: https://orders.newsfilecorp.com/files/1119/110974_174f398f046ebb72_001.jpg

Figure 1 - Ucore's Vision and Plan of a North American REE Supply Chain

To view an enhanced version of Figure 1, please visit:
https://orders.newsfilecorp.com/files/1119/110974_174f398f046ebb72_001full.jpg.

With this primary purpose (as also outlined in Ucore's 12 May 2021 news release), the Ucore Team aggressively progressed its corporate goals towards establishing this supply chain groundwork (see Figure 1) comprised of four all-important business objectives, namely:

A. Commercializing Innovation Metal Corp.'s ("IMC") RapidSX™ technology for commercial deployment into the Company's planned SMCs. Conducting Alaska SMC financing, engineering, permitting and community/stakeholder engagement activities for the near-term implementation of critical midstream processing of REOs as outlined in itsALASKA2023 planand the Company's broader international ambitions:

1) Continuing financial and strategic support toIMC for their commercial development of the RapidSX™ technology platform as outlined in Ucore's 29 December 2021 news release and summarized as follows:

a) Independent third-party expert evaluation testing of RapidSX™ technology is complete, and the independent report describing the findings is expected in January 2022.

b) RapidSX™ hardware design and the commercial demonstration plant engineering layout are complete.

c) Procurement of components and construction of the commercial demonstration plant ("Demo Plant") are well underway.

d) The current target for the Demo Plant completion is the end of Q1-2022, with commissioning and operation during an initial test campaign to commence shortly after that.

e) IMC is performing early-stage RapidSX™ integration engineering for the Alaska SMC Project: 

i) Including the inclusion of prospective Alaska SMC mixed REE chemical concentrate ("MREC") feedstocks into the planned Demo Plant testing schedule.

2) Continuing the development ofthe Alaska SMC Project, including but not limited to:

a) Financing Initiatives:

i) Establishing a Memorandum of Agreement ("MOA") with Alaska's Southeast Conference ("SEC") to establish a joint enterprise (known as the Natural Resource Development Complex ("NRDC")) facility in Ketchikan, Alaska, to house Ucore's Alaska SMC plant under a long-term lease arrangement:

(1) Up to 80% of the initial development funds for this facility (i.e. land and building) may be available through access to SEC's existing state and federal grant economic development funding programs.

ii) Completing a 2021 Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority ("AIDEA") due diligence process and continuing towards approval of a $3.5M financing package - expected in Q1-2022. Including stakeholder engagement and community consultation with:

(1) Ketchikan Gateway Borough

(2) Southeast Conference

(3) Alaska Senator Burt Stedman

(4) Alaska Representative Dan Ortiz

iii) A May 2021 pre-application meeting with the Department of Energy's ("DOE") Loan Programs Office ("LPO") Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program with formal submission of application expected in H1-2022.

iv) Continuing to work with J.A. Green & Company and the Alaska federal congressional delegation on various US government critical metals development opportunities.

b) Engineering Initiatives:

i) In 2021 Ucore continued its ongoing engagement with Mech-Chem Associates, Inc. to commence the specific engineering requirements for the Alaska SMC in conjunction with IMC's engineering personnel. This work will continue throughout 2022 and will ultimately conclude with the development of a contract design package suitable to execute a design/build construction contract.

c) Permitting Initiatives:

i) The retention of a permitting consultant in September 2021 to develop an initial permitting scope for the Alaska SMC.

d) Community/Stakeholder Engagement Initiatives:

i) A September 2021 partnering with the University of Alaska Fairbanks ("UAF") and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys ("DGGS") to join their recently awarded DOE project and efforts towards Bringing Alaska's Carbon Ore, Rare Earth and Critical Minerals Potential into Perspective.

ii) October 2021 discussions with the University of Alaska Southeast campuses regarding the potential development of a specific workforce development training curriculum to support Ucore's employment needs in Ketchikan, Alaska. Further discussions are scheduled for March 2022.

iii) Various consultations throughout 2021 with the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Mayor, Manager, Planner and certain Assembly members with planned continued interaction as engineering and planning efforts materialize.

3) Exploring the potential of developing an SMC in Canada:

a) November 2021 and January 2022 meetings with the Canadian government to examine the expansion of the SMC concept into Canada. Further discussions are planned as Ucore envisions a greater need for REO production in North America.

B. Identifying and securing multiple upstream sources of US-allied chemical concentrate feedstocks (both light REE ("LREE") and heavy REE ("HREE")) to provide inputs for processing at the Alaska SMC and other potential SMCs:

1) Pursuing relationships and agreements with existing and/or near-term producers of MRECs, consisting of:

a) Executing a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") with Vital Metals in October 2021 for the supply of MREC, including product testing in December 2021 & January 2022. A definitive agreement is expected to be agreed upon in H1-2022.

b) Engaging in active discussions with several other sources of feedstocks; conversations are at various stages from early-stage to executed non-binding letters of intent ("LOI") and/or MOUs.

C. Developing downstream customers, including those in the emerging North American automotive electric vehicle market, that have defined REO specifications with pre-defined quantities to support targeted production plans. Together with Ucore's cultivation of relationships with emerging rare earth metal/alloy suppliers outside of China necessary to support permanent magnet manufacturers.

1) Pre-purchase & supply agreements for Alaska SMC REO products:

a) Under a confidentiality agreement, a 2021 engagement with an international automotive OEM and their engineering consultant to conduct a due diligence review of the Alaska SMC development plan. The due diligence was successfully concluded, and discussions continue.

b) Engaging in active offtake (for REOs and/or metals/alloys) pre-purchase & supply agreement discussions with several international companies; conversations are at various stages from early-stage to executed non-binding LOIs and/or MOUs.

2) Expanding and cultivating the market for the "other" REOs:

a) A 2022 Company objective with UAF is to explore alternative uses for some of the "other" REOs (specifically lanthanum, cerium, and yttrium), which make up a significant percentage of worldwide MREC feedstocks.

3) Metals/Alloys and Magnet making initiatives with prospective partners:

a) A 2022 objective for the Company is to expand current relationships to explore North American metal/alloy and magnet-making opportunities with the offtake of REOs from Ucore SMCs - this is necessary to ensure a truly domestic rare earth supply chain.

D. Accelerating the development of the Bokan Project as a vital US supply chain component to provide a long-term secure source of HREEs; the most expensive and scarce inputs of the permanent magnet metals.

1) Continuing to progress the development of Bokan consisting of:

a) An April 2021 commencement of the mill flowsheet design development at SGS Canada Inc. (Lakefield) ("SGS") to include the potential recovery of the co-products beryllium, zirconium, niobium and hafnium along with an optimized REE recovery. This test work is approximately two-thirds complete and will ultimately lead to:

i) a finalized flow sheet design to allow the commencement of pilot-scale testing from Bokan mineralized material (obtained previously and in Summer 2022) to generate an optimized mineral concentrate;

ii) followed by the generation of an MREC for testing at IMC's Commercialization and Development Facility ("CDF") in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, as part of a planned pre-feasibility study ("PFS") and/or feasibility study ("FS).

b) A Spring 2021 initiation of additional fieldwork exploration at Bokan to further upgrade the National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") HREE mineral resource. The work is designed to convert a significant percentage of the currently 'indicated' resource to 'measured.' Secondly, the Company will obtain ≈50 tonnes of additional mineralized material to facilitate the above-noted testing at SGS.

i) In September 2021, Ucore and Aurora Geosciences conducted field mapping in preparation for the planned work.

ii) The State of Alaska issued a 5-year land use permit for the commercial moorage of a marine vessel in September 2021.

iii) The USFS issued a 1-year permit for the Surface Exploration Project Plan of Operations in November 2021, and the work is expected to commence in May 2022.

c) The retention of a permitting consultant in September 2021 to develop an updated scope of required permits for Bokan.

"There is currently no commercial rare earth element processing to oxides, no conversion of oxides to metals/alloys, and no fabrication of rare earth permanent magnets derived from neodymium [NdFeB magnets] in North America," stated Mike Schrider, P.E., Ucore VP & COO. "Ucore is diligently racing to change this narrative and has been fortunate to collaborate with other potential partners with a similar vision of a post internal combustion engine world and the importance of the supply of these critical metals to this new EV economy.

"An independent North American rare earth element supply chain is essential to ensuring a robust economy founded on manufacturing. Ucore and its prospective Alaska SMC partners are determined to achieve this with the production of rare earth oxides in 2024 through the plan presented in this news release."

###

 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 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.

About Innovation Metals Corp.

IMC has developed the proprietary RapidSX™ process, for the low-cost separation and purification of rare-earth elements, Ni, Co, Li and other technology metals, via an accelerated form of solvent extraction. IMC is commercializing this approach for a number of metals to help enable mining and metal-recycling companies to compete in today's global marketplace. IMC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ucore Rare Metals Inc.

For more information, please visit www.innovationmetals.com.

About the RapidSX™ Technology

IMC developed the RapidSX separation technology with early-stage assistance from the United States Department of Defense ("US DoD"), later resulting in the production of commercial-grade, separated rare-earth oxides at the pilot scale. RapidSX combines the time-proven chemistry of conventional solvent extraction ("SX") with a new column-based platform, which significantly reduces time to completion and plant footprint, as well as potentially lowering capital and operating costs. SX is the international rare-earth-element ("REE") industry's standard commercial separation technology and is currently used by 100% of all REE producers worldwide for bulk commercial separation of both heavy and light REEs. Utilizing similar chemistry to conventional SX, RapidSX is not a "new" technology but represents a significant improvement on the well-established, well-understood, proven conventional SX separation technology preferred by REE producers.

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 offtake 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) accept 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

To view the source version of this press release, please visit https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/110974

News Provided by Newsfile via QuoteMedia

UCU:CA,UURAF
Top 10 Countries for Rare Earth Metal Production (Updated 2022)

Top 10 Countries for Rare Earth Metal Production (Updated 2022)

Rare earth metal production was on the rise again in 2021, jumping to 280,000 metric tons (MT) worldwide — that’s up significantly from 190,000 MT in 2018.

Demand for the metals is increasing as renewable energy becomes more important across the globe. Rare earths like neodymium and praseodymium, which are important in clean energy applications and high-tech industries, are in the spotlight, particularly as electric vehicles and hybrid cars gain popularity.

Other factors, like the ongoing tensions between the US and China, are also putting the spotlight on rare earths. Since China is the world’s largest producer of the materials by far, the fraught relationship between the countries is directing attention to supply chain issues in the rare earths industry.

Keep reading...Show less
buildings forming maple leaf

Top 3 Canadian Rare Earths Stocks of 2022

Click here to read the previous top Canadian rare earths stocks article.

Although they usually get less attention than gold, copper and lithium, rare earth elements (REEs) are important metals for the global economy, especially in the 21st century.

The high-strength REE magnets found in much of today’s essential technology, including smartphones, wind turbines and electric vehicles, account for 29 percent of rare earths consumption. Analysts expect that demand for magnet rare earths ­— neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium — will continue to rise alongside demand for these technologies over the next decade and beyond.

Currently, China is home to more than 60 percent of annual global rare earth metal production, which has led western nations to seek to secure alternative rare earths supply chains.

Keep reading...Show less

Ucore Mobilizes Geological Crew to Bokan Mountain as Prices for Heavy Rare Earth Oxides Continue to Rise

  • Ucore's subcontracted geological team, Aurora Geosciences Ltd., is mobilizing for deployment to the Bokan Mountain Complex during the week of May 9, 2022, for Ucore's Summer 2022 Resource Upgrade Program, a program intended to:

    • upgrade the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Zone Mineral Resource estimate from the current ≈18% Indicated and ≈82% Inferred classifications to include a ≈17% to 20% Measured classification later in 2022 by:

      • obtaining ≈50 additional channel samples along the ≈2 km exposed vein outcroppings
      • extracting ≈50 tonnes of supplementary mineralized material from two new bulk sample locations for planned mill flowsheet pilot-scale testing
  • The Bokan-Dotson Ridge Zone is enriched with heavy rare earth elements, including terbium and dysprosium, the two heavy rare earth elements associated with electric vehicle permanent magnet synchronous motors.

Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSXV: UCU) (OTCQX: UURAF) ("Ucore" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the planned mobilization of a geological crew to conduct Ucore's Summer 2022 fieldwork program (the "Program") at the Company's Bokan-Dotson Ridge Zone mineral deposit ("Bokan" or "Bokan Project") on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, USA. The Program is a continuation of Ucore's 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2014 Bokan Mountain Complex exploration drill programs and is being undertaken by Aurora Geosciences (Alaska) Ltd. ("AGL" or "Aurora") of Juneau, Alaska. The Program is designed to improve the geological confidence of the mineral deposit in preparation for a forthcoming planned pre-feasibility study ("PFS"), as the rare earth oxide ("REO") market continues its favourable response to the increased electrification demands related to the electric vehicle ("EV") and renewable energy sectors.

Cannot view this image? Visit: https://orders.newsfilecorp.com/files/1119/123292_f64b38cb54d66b1a_001.jpg

Figure 1 - Ucore's Vision of a North American REE Supply Chain:
Bokan Mountain, RapidSX™ Technology, Alaska SMC & North American Manufactured EVs

To view an enhanced version of Figure 1, please visit:
https://orders.newsfilecorp.com/files/1119/123292_f64b38cb54d66b1a_001full.jpg

The approximately 5-week Program consists of two primary planned objectives:

  1. Conduct a channel sampling program along the ≈2 km exposed vein outcroppings of the Dotson Ridge Zone and incorporate these results into the current deposit model[1]. Upgrade the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Zone Mineral Resource estimate from the current ≈18% Indicated and ≈82% Inferred classifications to include a ≈17% to 20% Measured classification later in 2022. The Measured resource will be drawn predominantly from the current Indicated resource, with over 90% of the new Measured material being drawn from the Indicated resource and 10% from the Inferred resource.

  2. Extract ≈50 tonnes of additional mineralized material from two 2021 selected bulk sample locations to support a follow-on mill flowsheet pilot-scale testing program as part of a PFS. This work will be derived from the current mill flowsheet development work that is ongoing at SGS Canada Inc. (Lakefield) ("SGS"). The produced mineral concentrate from this pilot-scale testing will then be processed at the RapidSX™ Commercialization and Development Facility's ("CDF") Demonstration Plant as part of Ucore's commercial technology deployment process. The Program is a prerequisite step in preparation for obtaining potential feedstock mineral concentrate from Bokan to supply the Company's planned Alaska Strategic Metals Complex ("SMC") targeted for Ketchikan, Alaska.

"Aurora Geosciences has been involved in exploration work at Bokan Mountain for over a decade," stated Ucore Vice President and COO Mike Schrider, P.E. "Jim Robinson and his team have put together a Mineral Resource upgrade program for 2022 that will enable us to finalize our exploration efforts towards developing the Bokan Project as we respond to Western electrification demands and the associated need for rare earth critical metals.

"Continued execution of the Company's long-term Bokan Mountain development plans, coupled with our near-term plan to construct the Alaska SMC 35-miles to the northeast of Bokan in Ketchikan, represents a unique opportunity for Ucore, the communities of Southeast Alaska and the State of Alaska. Working together as a team and with our stakeholders, we can help lead the United States' concerted effort to establish an independent REE supply chain to support the transformation to EVs and renewable energy sources and ensure that high-paying family-wage jobs are generated and maintained in Southeast Alaska for decades to come."

The Bokan-Dotson Ridge Zone is amongst the highest grade heavy rare earth element ("HREE") Mineral Resources in the United States[2]. The Bokan Project includes terbium (Tb) and dysprosium (Dy) oxides, the two HREEs oxides associated with EV permanent magnet synchronous motors. As shown in Table 1, the spot market price[3] of Tb and Dy oxides - HREEs used in most permanent magnet synchronous motors ("PMSM") - have dramatically increased since 2020. And most importantly, the forecasted demand for PMSM's REOs is expected to remain strong well into the next decade[4].

2020 Average Price $USD2022 YTD Average Price $USD
Terbium Oxide$646$2,117
A 227.7% Δ
Dysprosium Oxide$260$447
A 71.9% Δ

 

Table 1 - Tb & Dy Prices & % Change from 2020 to 2022

"As automakers shift to electrification, a totally new metallic supply chain must be created," commented Ucore Chairman and CEO Pat Ryan, P.Eng. "The historical automotive business was vertically integrated with rubber plants in South America to an array of steel manufacturing plants as a key part of their production strategy. Today automakers from Ford to GM to VW realize that controlling source raw materials right back to the mine could determine how many electric vehicles they will be able to make and at what cost. The further development of the Bokan Mountain Complex for long term security of rare earth oxides used in powerful electric motors presents an opportunity for deep integration of Western supply chains."

###

 

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 an effective 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 control of the US REE supply chain through the near-term development of a heavy and light 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, reviewed and approved the technical data regarding the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Mineral Resource 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, 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 offtake agreements. Ucore has also assumed that sufficient external funding will be secured to continue 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) accept 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

News Provided by Newsfile via QuoteMedia

Keep reading...Show less
Search Minerals Announces Additional Channel Assay Results Expanding FOX MEADOW Rare Earth Element Project in SE Labrador

Search Minerals Announces Additional Channel Assay Results Expanding FOX MEADOW Rare Earth Element Project in SE Labrador

Search Minerals Inc. (TSXV: SMY | OTCQB: SHCMF) (" Search " or the " Company "), is pleased to report 2021 channel assay results from FOX MEADOW a major mineralized zone in the Port Hope Simpson St. Lewis Critical Rare Earth Element (CREE) District. Mapping, prospecting, trenching, channeling, and geophysical surveys confirm the current known extent of two mineralized zones at FOX MEADOW : the NW zone is up to 175m wide and the SE zone is up to 154m wide . Combined, known mineralization is at least 790m long and is open to the NW and SE. FOX MEADOW is currently drill program ready; Search plans to commence a 6,000 m drill program this fall.

HIGHLIGHTS – FOX MEADOW 2021 CHANNEL PROGRAM

News Provided by GlobeNewswire via QuoteMedia

Keep reading...Show less

Ucore Announces Successful Independent Expert Evaluation of RapidSX Rare Earth Separation Technology

Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSXV: UCU) (OTCQX: UURAF) ("Ucore" or the "Company") is pleased to report the positive conclusions of a multi-phase, independent, third-party technical review of RapidSX™ technology (the "Independent Evaluation" or the "Evaluation") prepared by Dr. Ahmad Ghahreman of AG Hydrometallurgy Services Inc. ("AGHS") as a noted subject-matter-expert1. With a focus on the technical assuredness, benefits, and scalability of the RapidSX™ technology specifically for the separation of rare earth elements ("REEs") for the production of commercial-grade rare earth oxides ("REOs"), the Independent Evaluation concludes the following:

  • RapidSX™ is capable of separating both light and heavy REEs for producing high-quality REOs and uses the same chemistry as proven conventional solvent extraction ("CSX") processes but with faster kinetics; thus, no chemistry risk at scale-up;

  • RapidSX™ process shows itself to likely be 3 times as efficient as CSX, concluding a production plant can potentially have a 2/3 smaller footprint than a CSX plant of the same capacity with an associated separation process capital cost ("CAPEX") reduction of 50% or better;

  • RapidSX™ for the separation and purification of REEs is dependent on its chemistry (same as CSX) and, given a smaller footprint for the same throughput, should have an expected operating cost ("OPEX") of 20% less than CSX for the same purpose; and

  • RapidSX™ is a modular process making it scalable with minimal risk. The process can be designed to process REEs in the range of 1,000 to 10,000+ tonnes per annum.

AGHS was engaged by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority ("AIDEA") to undertake a technical review of the RapidSX™ technology and to provide an opinion concerning the technical and economic feasibility and scalability of RapidSX™, specifically for the separation of REEs for the production of commercial-grade REOs in Ucore's planned Alaska Strategic Metals Complex ("SMC"). "After completing our extensive technical review of the RapidSX™ technology, its commercialization development process and its planned installation in the Alaska SMC, it is my opinion that Ucore can credibly and effectively execute its unique business strategy," noted Dr. Ghahreman.

Cannot view this image? Visit: https://orders.newsfilecorp.com/files/1119/121814_1abe1c4454ba19cd_001.jpg

Figure 1 - RapidSX™ Testing on the CDF's Research Apparatus

To view an enhanced version of Figure 1, please visit:
https://orders.newsfilecorp.com/files/1119/121814_1abe1c4454ba19cd_001full.jpg

"We're extremely pleased with the independent expert evaluation of the RapidSX technology, as it continues to support our commercial deployment plans that center on being very competitive for the production of REOs to be delivered to downstream EV and renewable energy manufacturers," stated Ucore Chairman and CEO Pat Ryan, P.Eng. "The Evaluation's technically based alignment with our economic premise that there is a reduction in capital cost required to build a North American SMC for REE separation versus CSX, the increased throughput using the proprietary column-based technology and thus lower working capital, supports our business planning. This includes self-use to begin (i.e., the Alaska SMC), the ability to scale appropriately as the market dictates, potential JV opportunities and eventual US-allied licensing."

As part of its confidential work, in Phase I (Expert Opinion; Technical Review of the IMC RapidSX™ Separation Technology for Rare-Earth Separation, March 26, 2021), AGHS conducted a literature/data/conversational review of all past and current work associated with the development and commercialization efforts of the RapidSX technology. And in Phase II (Expert Opinion; Technical Review of the IMC RapidSX™ Separation Technology for Rare-Earth Separation - Phase II, January 17, 2022), they observed two rounds of testing carried out at Innovation Metals Corp.'s ("IMC") RapidSX Commercialization and Development Facility ("CDF") in Q4-2021 and conducted by IMC's laboratory partner Kingston Process Metallurgy Inc. ("KPM"). The first test was performed on a synthetic REE solution (a dilute solution consisting of Pr, Nd, Sm, and Gd), and the second test was conducted on a commercial mixed heavy REO sourced from an operating rare earth mine (the source of which remains commercially confidential). All testing was performed by KPM's personnel under the observation of Dr. Ghahreman, with AGHS receiving the test data/results directly from KPM and evaluating the RapidSX technology based on this data.

The two sets of solutions were tested utilizing both RapidSX and conventional solvent extraction processes, primarily exploring the kinetics of the two processes for separating the rare earth elements. RapidSX testing was undertaken on the CDF's Research Apparatus with a variety of flow rates and contactor lengths, as shown in Figure 1. Phase separator sizes and contactor diameter were kept consistent for all tests. CSX testing was conducted using mixer settlers, as shown in Figure 2.

Cannot view this image? Visit: https://orders.newsfilecorp.com/files/1119/121814_1abe1c4454ba19cd_002.jpg

Figure 2 - Conventional Solvent Extraction Testing at the CDF

To view an enhanced version of Figure 2, please visit:
https://orders.newsfilecorp.com/files/1119/121814_1abe1c4454ba19cd_002full.jpg

From the tests on the synthetic samples, it was clear that the equilibrium time with the CSX process was reached in approximately 120 seconds or more. In contrast, the RapidSX process achieved a higher separation factor of the REEs within 40 seconds. The results of the CSX tests on the commercial mixed rare earth concentrate showed that the equilibrium time shifted to over 300 seconds. However, RapidSX test results were consistently better than the CSX results, with a higher separation factor reached within less than 100 seconds. These results confirm that RapidSX can be 3 times as efficient as CSX, which, among other advantages, could result in a RapidSX plant having a footprint 1/3 the size of a CSX plant. Operating costs of RapidSX could be expected to be more than 20% less than those of CSX for the same throughput.

During the last week of March and the second week of April 2022, the expanded commercialization team of management, engineers and scientist (from Ucore, IMC and KPM) held numerous meetings at the RapidSX CDF to review and update all past and planned activities and schedules. Additionally, the team took the opportunity to review and discuss the Independent Evaluation's findings which Ucore received in March 2022.

Based on vast experiences with process optimization from all involved team members, design decisions confirmed that the Company would continue to aggressively advance the construction of its RapidSX Demonstration-scale Plant ("DEMO Plant") within the CDF - the DEMO Plant is now scheduled for commissioning in mid-2022. The Company shared more intricate long-range planning (under an NDA) with a potential multi-national SMC partner that also visited the CDF in April 2022, wanting to see the technology development first-hand and to discuss their upstream and downstream requirements.

###

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 control of the US REE supply chain through the development of a heavy and light 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.

About the RapidSX™ Technology

The Company's wholly owned subsidiary, Innovation Metals Corp., developed the RapidSX separation technology with early-stage assistance from the United States Department of Defense ("US DoD"), later resulting in the production of commercial-grade, separated rare-earth oxides at the pilot scale. RapidSX combines the time-proven chemistry of conventional solvent extraction ("SX") with a new column-based platform, which significantly reduces time to completion and plant footprint, as well as potentially lowering capital and operating costs. SX is the international rare-earth-element ("REE") industry's standard commercial separation technology and is currently used by 100% of all REE producers worldwide for bulk commercial separation of both heavy and light REEs. Utilizing similar chemistry to conventional SX, RapidSX is not a "new" technology but represents a significant improvement on the well-established, well-understood, proven conventional SX separation technology preferred by REE producers.

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, 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 offtake agreements. Ucore has also assumed that sufficient external funding will be secured to continue 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) accept 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

News Provided by Newsfile via QuoteMedia

Keep reading...Show less

RETRANSMISSION: Ucore And thyssenkrupp Materials Trading Execute Feedstock Supply MOU For The Alaska SMC

Highlights

  • Ucore is developing the Alaska Strategic Metals Complex (SMC) for the processing of rare earth elements in Southeast Alaska
  • thyssenkrupp Materials Trading GmbH has extensive spot supply and offtake arrangements with existing and developing producers of rare earth concentrate, carbonates, and oxides
  • The Alaska SMC is planned to commence production of up to 2,000 tpa of individual rare earth oxides by 2024
  • thyssenkrupp Materials Trading is expected to begin the supply of a minimum of 1,000 tpa of rare earth carbonate to Ucore in 2024 for ten years
  • The MOU represents the second source of feedstock for the Alaska SMC, in addition to the agreement executed with Vital Metals in October of 2021

Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSXV: UCU) (OTCQX: UURAF) (FSE: U9UA) ("Ucore" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the execution of a Memorandum Of Understanding ("MOU") setting forth certain nonbinding understandings between Ucore and thyssenkrupp Materials Trading GmbH (collectively the "Parties"). The MOU contemplates thyssenkrupp Materials Trading initially supplying a minimum of 1,000 tons per annum ("tpa") of mixed rare earth carbonate for processing at Ucore's Alaska Strategic Metals Complex ("SMC") in 2024, with quantities increasing in subsequent years. The parties have agreed to work toward a 10-year binding contract for the continued and increasing supply of mixed rare earth carbonates ("MREC") for processing, including the consideration of various marketing strategies.

News Provided by Newsfile via QuoteMedia

Keep reading...Show less

Latest Press Releases

Related News

×