Ucore Applauds U.S. DOC Report on Supply of Critical Minerals
Halifax, June 13, 2019 - Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSXV: UCU) (OTCQX: UURAF) ("Ucore" or the "Company") is pleased to comment on the U.S. Department of Commerce's report: A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals (the "Report").
Published June 4, 2019, the Report is a direct response to President Donald J. Trump's Executive Order 13817 (of the same title) issued on December 20, 2017. The comprehensive Report presents 6 Calls to Action, 24 goals, and 61 recommendations regarding the specific steps that the U.S. Federal Government will take to diminish American dependency on foreign nations for the supply of 35 minerals designated as critical by the Department of Interior in 2018 (the "Critical Minerals").
This announcement and prioritization are significant for Ucore, as 7 of the 8 primary minerals at the Bokan Mountain Complex ("BMC") in Southeast Alaska are identified as Critical Minerals under the Report.
Ucore's Bokan Dotson Ridge development is considered one of the most heavily enriched zones within the BMC. In 1989, the U.S. Bureau of Mines ("USBM") released an extensive study1 naming the following minerals as being significantly enriched in the nine zones of the BMC geology: Beryllium, Niobium, the Rare Earth Elements ("REE") Group, Yttrium, Tantalum, Uranium & Zirconium (the 8th non-critical mineral is Thorium). The Report additionally references U.S. Government archives, such as USBM data, as leading sources of information on the availability and whereabouts of Critical Minerals on U.S. soil.
"Continuing trade tensions between the U.S. and China have resulted in the urgent calls to action and long term goals of this Report", said Jim McKenzie, President and CEO of Ucore. "The tensions have also prompted significant recent price gains for minerals that Bokan has in abundance, most notably Heavy REE's such as Dy and Tb. The Bokan deposit is unique in the U.S., with its unusual skew towards these valuable HREE's. Bokan is also unique in its ease of access, its limited projected development cost, and its significant financial backing by the State of Alaska2. We applaud the Trump Administration for identifying these critical resources and streamlining their route to production."
"Ucore's Bokan Mountain development project is a substantial strategic asset, especially with its American location and proximity to major shipping lanes," said Mike Schrider, COO of Ucore. "The Company is in a continuous assessment/planning mode on the advancement of Bokan. The project is already highly developed, with the remaining steps to the commencement of mine construction being the delivery of our final feasibility study, the finalizing of permitting, and the completion of detail construction engineering required to get the mine shovel ready. The initiatives set out in the U.S. DOC Report, the recent gains in REE prices at a global level, in combination with our gains in the deployment of REE extraction technology, are extremely useful in the delivery of our feasibility documents."
The Report emphasizes the current lengthy timelines associated with permitting and executing the mineral assessment, exploration, mining, processing, and reclamation processes. Ucore notes it has completed its initial REE mineral assessment and exploration work from which it established a NI-43-101 compliant Preliminary Economic Assessment (the "PEA") (see Ucore press release dated January 15, 2013) which includes an analysis of proposed mining methodologies, mineral processing, prospective planning and production timelines; as well as 2013 values for anticipated capital and operating costs, and the expected IRR for the project.
The PEA was followed by additional exploration and a subsequent REE resource upgrade for the Bokan Dotson Zone deposit (see Ucore press release dated May 11, 2015) and from a technical perspective, Ucore is ready to commence the engineering and permitting required for the first mining phase. The Company estimates the project can be fully permitted and shovel ready in less than 30 months from receipt of the necessary funding for these activities. Ucore will then be positioned to commence mine site construction, mining and processing upon acceptance of the project by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority ("AIDEA") and receipt of additional market support.
1 U.S. Bureau of Mines, Barker & Warner, 1989
2 See Ucore Press Release dated Feb 19, 2014: Alaska Legislation Sets Out $145M Bond funding for Ucore's Bokan Dotson Ridge
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 a M.Eng. degree in mining engineering (mineral processing emphasis) from The University of Arizona.
Ucore Rare Metals Inc. is a development-phase company focused on rare 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 nanotechnology company that provides mineral separation products and services to the mining and mineral extraction industry. This vision includes the development of a Strategic Metals Complex (initially announced on Nov. 15, 2016) in Ketchikan, Alaska and the development of the Company's rare earth minerals property located at Bokan Mountain in Alaska (technical report 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 <_http3a_ www.ucore.com="">.
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 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 in the near future be able to obtain interim financing and sufficient additional financing to acquire 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 raise sufficient funds to acquire IBC (including the non-acquisition payments owed under the previous and existing agreements); 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 mineral 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; the availability and procurement of any required interim financing that may be required; and general economic, market or business conditions.
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