Ucore Reports: US National Defense Authorization Act Mandates REE Mined and Refined Outside of China
Halifax, Nova Scotia--(Newsfile Corp. - December 9, 2020) - Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSXV: UCU) (OTCQX: UURAF) ("Ucore" or the "Company") is pleased to report on several developments with rare earth elements ("REE") involving the US government's National Defense Authorization Act ("NDAA" or "the bill") for Fiscal Year ("FY") 2021.
The bill, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 335 to 78 on December 8, 2020, requires most Department of Defense systems to use REE mined and refined entirely outside of China within five years and directs the government to prefer US suppliers of strategic and critical materials (which includes REE) in the acquisition process.
The bill also requires the Secretary of Defense to make several assessments on the best actions to improve the domestic availability of REE, such as investments through the Defense Production Act or restrictions on foreign suppliers. This will include an annual report to Congress on the state of REE domestic production, including supply chain gaps and vulnerabilities.
Ucore Chairman and Interim CEO, Pat Ryan, P.Eng., commented, "The NDAA for FY21 takes critical steps for REE that will help the US defense industrial base and domestic providers of critical minerals. It also supports Ucore's strategy of being the preeminent long-term and secure provider and processor of heavy rare earth oxides for US defense and commercial needs."
The provisions of the NDAA stand to strengthen the prospects of Ucore's Bokan-Dotson Ridge Heavy Rare Earth Element Project ("Bokan") eventually becoming the go-to source for heavy rare-earth mining in the United States. The NDAA's directive regarding REE refining and separation will also help Ucore in the nearer-term to develop the Alaska Strategic Metals Complex ("Alaska SMC") in Ketchikan, Alaska, a planned facility initiated with long-term, non-Chinese feedstock supply agreements and domestic offtake arrangements.
Ucore VP & COO, Mike Schrider, P.E., stated, "The timing of this NDAA coincides with a change to the Chinese export control law which may impact the supply of rare earth elements from China - a move that has created a significant recent price increase for rare earth oxides used in the production of magnets. Our planned Alaska SMC will be designed to produce the full complement of the magnetic rare earth oxides and we are highly encouraged by these emerging rare-earth market sector commercial opportunities and enhanced government support as we enter 2021."
The U.S. Senate is projected to pass the bill in the next several days.
About Ucore Rare Metals Inc.
Ucore is focused on rare and critical metals resources, extraction, beneficiation and separation technologies with potential for production, growth, and scalability. Ucore has a 100% ownership stake in the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Rare Earth Element Project in Southeast Alaska. 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. Through strategic partnerships, this vision includes the development of a heavy rare earth processing facility - the Alaska Strategic Metals Complex ("SMC") in Southeast Alaska and the long-term development of its heavy rare earth element resource located at Bokan Mountain on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska.
Ucore is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange 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 or contact Mark MacDonald, Vice President of Investor Relations at 902.482.5214.
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. In regard to business plans and objectives, the Company has assumed that it will be able to procure or retain additional partners and/or suppliers, in addition to Innovation Metals Corp. ("IMC"), as suppliers for Ucore's expected future Alaska SMC. Ucore has also assumed that sufficient external funding will be found to prepare a new National Instrument 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. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include, without limitation: 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; adverse capital-market conditions; unexpected due-diligence findings; unexpected or adverse outcomes in the currently outstanding litigation matters between Ucore and IBC Advanced Technologies, Inc.; 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 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.
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