Ucore Announces Team for Heavy REE SX Plant Design & U.S. Federal Funding
Halifax, Nova Scotia--(Newsfile Corp. - October 22, 2019) - Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSXV: UCU) (OTCQX: UURAF) ("Ucore" or the "Company") is pleased to announce developments related to its comprehensive M3 Plan of Action (METAL Component). The Company has finalized a project-specific advisory team for the purpose of designing its heavy rare earth element ("HREE") solvent extraction plant and processing capabilities in Southeast Alaska (the "SX Plant"), and with respect to its forthcoming anticipated proposal for near term U.S. Government funding (collectively, the "SX Team" or the "Team").
The Company has attracted and engaged two prominent technical advisors to the Team, representing extensive knowledge of mineral processing, solvent extraction ("SX") platform design, process engineering and contracting functions:
- SGS Lakefield ("SGS")
SGS of Lakefield, Ontario, is one of the world's most advanced engineering, testing, inspection, verification, and certification companies. SGS has invested significantly in SX design and testing facilities, with an industry-leading SX pilot plant available at its Lakefield location (the "SX Pilot"). The SX Pilot is capable of demonstrating the validity of North American rare earth separations, such as those HREE resources controlled by Ucore. For more information, visit: www.sgs.ca
- Mech-Chem Associates, Inc. ("Mech-Chem")
Mech-Chem of Norfolk, MA, is a full-service engineering and design firm with extensive experience in chemical processing systems. Mech-Chem brings capabilities relevant to the SX Plant design, engineering fabrication, and construction. Their areas of specialization include manufacturing facilities; operating processes; acid, chemical, and waste recovery systems; as well as environmental control systems. For more information, visit: www.mech-chem.com.
"We're delighted to welcome these highly capable members to the SX Team. SGS, Mech-Chem, and Ucore collectively represent a potentially game-changing capability to develop a rare earth separation facility in the U.S. in the near future," said Jim McKenzie, President & CEO of Ucore. "These participants bring unsurpassed capability in the areas of design, engineering, piloting, and testing of mineral processing facilities. Combined with Ucore's experience in the rare earth market and access to AIDEA [Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority] financing, we believe that we have created a formidable team to compete for opportunities to solve the U.S. government's rare earth supply chain gaps, and we should be the leading option for future funding opportunities."
"The U.S. Department of Defense is now pursuing the ways and means of establishing HREE separation capabilities within the U.S.," said Pat Ryan, Chairman of Ucore. "More specifically, a solicitation for the separation of HREE is expected to be issued as early as this week. Without a doubt, this highly focused opportunity fits hand-in-glove with Ucore's HREE advantages, and our already substantial financing pipeline from the State of Alaska. We look forward to advancing our multi-point solution to the emergent U.S. HREE supply chain."
"No other proponent has assembled the combination of experience, capability and pre-approved financing represented by Ucore," stated Ucore COO Mike Schrider. "The SX Team, utilizing products from world-leading solvent extraction reagent producer Solvay, makes for a compelling and highly proven SX platform. We couldn't be more pleased with the combination of talent and resources and look forward to submitting the highest-quality, lowest-risk proposal to bring HREE production to the U.S."
The Defense Production Act ("DPA") Title III office this year released a request for information on potential HREE separation in the U.S., which Ucore responded to in July 2019. The Ucore submission noted the Company's planned SX Plant, with processing and separation capabilities targeting individual HREE oxides, in Southeast Alaska. Also emphasized was the Company's access to a long-term, sustainable source of HREE at the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Rare Earth Project ("Bokan"), the site of the highest grade NI 43-101 HREE mineral resource[i] within America.
Ucore has pursued HREE mineral resource exploration and development since 2009, securing financing undertakings from AIDEA to develop Bokan, which includes the planned Alaska Strategic Metals Complex ("Alaska SMC") REE processing and separation facility to be located within or near Ketchikan, Alaska. The Company plans to specifically tailor SX technology, through the use of Solvay's CYANEX 572 reagents, into one of the most environmentally sound and efficient SX processes in the world; eventually resulting in the full-scale Alaska SMC to produce rare earth oxides meeting North America's defense and commercial needs, as well as the environmental stewardship requirements of Alaska.
Ucore Rare Metals is a company focused on rare and critical metals resources, extraction and beneficiation technologies with near term potential for production, growth, and scalability. The Company has a 100% ownership stake in the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Rare Earth Project. On March 31, 2014, Ucore announced the unanimous support of the Alaska State Legislature for Senate Bill 99 (2014), which authorized the AIDEA to issue up to USD $145 million in bonds for the infrastructure and construction costs of the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Rare Earth Project.
Ucore's vision and plan is to transition to become a leading advanced technology company that provides mineral separation products and services to the mining and mineral extraction industry. This vision includes the development of the Alaska SMC in Southeast Alaska and the development of the Company's rare earth minerals property located at Bokan Mountain in Alaska (an NI-43-101 technical report was filed on SEDAR on March 14, 2013).
For further information, please contact Mr. Jim McKenzie, President & CEO of Ucore Rare Metals Inc. at: +1 (902) 482-5214 or visit <http://www.ucore.com>.
Michael Schrider, P.E., COO of Ucore, has approved the scientific and technical content of this news release and is the Qualified Person responsible for its accuracy. Mr. Schrider, is a registered professional engineer in the State of Louisiana, holds a B.S. degree in engineering from the University of New Orleans and an M.Eng. degree in mining engineering (mineral processing emphasis) from The University of Arizona.
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 business 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. Ucore has assumed that it will be able to procure or retain geometallurgy partners and/or suppliers, including a solvent extraction ("SX") partner or SX supplier for the Alaska Strategic Metals Complex ("Alaska SMC"). Ucore has also assumed that sufficient external funding will be found to prepare a new NI 43-101 technical report that demonstrates that the Bokan Project is feasible and economically viable for the production of both REE and co-product mineral materials and metals and the then prevailing market prices based upon assumed customer off-take agreements. Ucore has also assumed that sufficient external funding will be found to develop the specific engineering plans for the Alaska SMC and its construction. Ucore has also assumed that it will in the near future be able to obtain interim financing and sufficient additional financing to acquire IBC Advanced Technologies, Inc. ("IBC") in compliance with the terms contemplated in the existing agreements with IBC and its shareholders holding a majority of its shares. Ucore has also assumed that there will be no material adverse findings in its upcoming expected comprehensive due diligence review of IBC. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include: Ucore not being able to procure an SX partner or supplier 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 acquire IBC (including the non-acquisition payments owed under the previous and existing agreements with IBC); adverse capital market conditions; unexpected due diligence findings; unexpected or adverse outcomes in the currently outstanding litigation matters between Ucore and IBC; resistance to or noncompliance by IBC or its key shareholders with the existing agreements; the emergence of alternative superior metallurgy and metal separation technologies; the inability of IBC to retain its key staff members and clients; the inability of IBC to protect its intellectual property; unexpected transaction costs or other deal completion setbacks; a change in the legislation in Alaska and/or in the support expressed by AIDEA regarding the development of Bokan; the availability and procurement of any required interim and/or long-term financing that may be required; and general economic, market or business conditions.
No new drilling or assaying was required in order for the Company's external experts to develop an updated 2019 mineral resource for Bokan that includes REE and the numerous critical co-product metals.
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.
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