- Ucore Rare Metals Inc. is a Canada-headquartered company passionate about strengthening North America’s rare earth element (“REE”) supply chain to reduce reliance on potentially adversarial foreign nations
- Rare earths play small but critical roles in high-tech products, such as in making up permanent magnets that are resistant to heat from high capacity electronic products
- Only one mine in California provides a domestic supply of REEs to the United States, which has netted it strategic financial support from the Pentagon
- Ucore recently completed the first stage of demonstrating its proprietary RapidSX(TM) solvent extraction process for improving REE production, inviting dozens of industry and government visitors to witness its effectiveness at a Demo Plant in Canada
- The company plans to use the process in a Louisiana commercial-scale processing facility, which will begin construction later this year to provide a planned 2,000 metric tons of total rare earth oxides (“TREOs”) production by early 2025
Critical metals production tech innovator Ucore Rare Metals (TSX.V: UCU) (OTCQX: UURAF) has completed the first stage of an ambitious strategy to help disrupt the People’s Republic of China’s control of the North American rare earth element (“REE”) supply chain, welcoming dozens of industry and government visitors for a demonstration of its proprietary RapidSX(TM) REE separation process, according to a March 16 news release.
Ucore Rare Metals hosted private tours and demonstrations of the operational advantages RapidSX’s(TM) 52-stage REE separation processing system in early March at the company’s Ontario, Canada-based Commercialization and Demonstration Facility (“CDF”), the news release states (https://ibn.fm/DuHiu). The company anticipates putting the RapidSX(TM) process to work on a commercial scale at its first Strategic Metals Complex (“SMC”) in Louisiana, in the southern United States, which will begin construction later this year.
Rare earth elements are metallic elements that perform small but vital functions in current high-tech electronic devices such as cell phones, computer hard drives and TVs, as well as a number of government defense products. They occur within ores and are separated from ore by an SX solvent extraction process used worldwide, but Ucore anticipates developing RapidSX(TM) as a widely used process that is faster and ultimately cheaper.
China established an overwhelming dominance in the REE market long ago and has demonstrated a willingness to leverage its market control during international disputes, cutting off adversaries’ access to the tech metals (or threatening to do so) such as when Japan was restricted in 2010 during a boundary dispute over the East China Sea (https://ibn.fm/ouEVv).
California’s Mountain Pass mine, owned by MP Materials, is currently the only operating rare earth mine and processing facility in the United States and concerns about North America’s vulnerability to China’s control of the REE market have prompted Ucore to present its solution as a way to improve Western Hemisphere processing of the ores.
Ucore will add to its Louisiana SMC with additional SMC processing facilities in Alaska and Canada, and the company also has a 100 percent ownership stake in a rare earth mine prospect in Alaska that it eventually plans to develop as a North American source for REEs.
The mine holds more than 4.7 million metric tons of indicated rare earth ore, which amounts to about 63.5 million pounds of collective rare earth metals (https://ibn.fm/CUqnF).
The Louisiana brownfield SMC is scheduled to begin processing 2,000 metric tons of total rare earth oxides (“TREOs”) annually by early 2025, and the company expects to increase its TREO supply chain capacity to 5,000 metric tons by 2026.
Ucore’s success in the first phase of extraction circuit testing at the Ontario demonstration facility was designed to separate heavy REE (“HREE”) from light REE (“LREE”), and once the Demo Plant there is fully commissioned it will process “tens of tonnes of North American-friendly sources of mixed rare earth chemical concentrates” in an environment that simulates commercial production, according to the company.
The plant’s output will be high-purity Neodymium-Praseodymium (“NdPr”) used in permanent magnets for tech products including electric vehicle drive trains, as well as praseodymium, neodymium, terbium and dysprosium REEs.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.Ucore.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to UURAF are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/UURAF