Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSX.V: UCU) (OTCQX: UURAF) Finalizes Department of Defense $4 Million Agreement for Demonstrating Critical REE Solution

  • Canada-based Ucore Rare Metals Inc. is devoted to establishing a North American-based supply chain for rare earth elements to reduce the Western hemisphere’s dependence on China’s market-dominant industries for modern technologies
  • The company has developed a trademarked process for separating rare earths from their surrounding ores 
  • Ucore is preparing to begin construction of a commercially scalable facility in Louisiana for using its solution
  • The U.S. Department of Defense awarded the company $4 million in an agreement this month that calls on Ucore to demonstrate the capabilities of its technology and the company’s ability to use it for sustaining North American REE production
  • The agreement’s parameters are established in stages with payment tranches set for the successful completion of each stage
  • Successful completion of the agreement’s requirements could lead to follow-on award opportunities for Ucore to continue its work

Critical metals production innovator Ucore Rare Metals (TSX.V: UCU) (OTCQX: UURAF) received a significant boost to its new technology demonstration pipeline this month when the the U.S. Department of Defense awarded the Canadian company $4 million to respond to the DOD’s inquiries into its RapidSX(TM) rare earths separation process (https://ibn.fm/bsTsI).

Ucore is promoting RapidSX(TM) as a faster and more environmentally sound upgrade to the solvent extraction method (SX or CSX) that has been the standard for separating rare earths (“REEs”) for more than four decades. The company has been demonstrating the capabilities of its technology at a 52-stage Demo Plant in Ontario during the spring as it prepares to launch commercial production in Louisiana.

The DOD’s interest in RapidSX(TM) arises from Western nations’ concerns about China’s dominance of CSX production industries, particularly amid international tensions between the United States and China over modern technologies production, alleged state-sponsored industrial spying, China’s new militarization and its use of its rare earths trading power to wield control over its disputes with other nations.

“Independent testing has shown that the innovative column-based RapidSX platform can separate rare earths nearly 10 times faster within a footprint that is about one-third the size required for the mixer-settler units used for traditional SX separation,” Alaska’s Metal Tech News noted (https://ibn.fm/1jJm3).

Rare earths are vital to many modern computerized application processes, particularly because of their use in high-performance magnets. Although they are referred to as “rare,” they exist in plentiful numbers worldwide. But because they constitute a small portion of the ores they are found in, efforts to extract them at scale require significant process development. 

The modern computerized applications not only support commercial industries, but also military defense needs.

Las Vegas-based MP Materials’ Mountain Pass mine located in Southern California currently is the only source for REE feedstock in North America, and its ore is processed in China, reflecting the state of the market since China began pumping out low-cost REEs in the 1980s, leading North American REE mines to shutter their operations (https://ibn.fm/2kper).

“When it comes to clean energy, China has spent years cornering the market on many of the materials that power the technologies that we rely on,” President Joe Biden said in February (https://ibn.fm/vM027). “We can’t build a future that’s made in America if we ourselves are dependent on China for the materials that power the products of today and tomorrow. And this is not anti-China or anti anything else; it’s pro-American.”

The DOD award agreement requires Ucore to show that its technology constitutes new innovation capable of supporting North American REE production plants, and that it can commercially convert heavy and light REE feedstock sources to salable individual rare earth products at its soon-to-be-constructed processing facilities, known as Strategic Metals Complexes (“SMCs”), the first of which will begin construction this year in Alexandria, La.

The June 2 agreement establishes stages for demonstrating RapidSX(TM) capabilities with regular reporting to the U.S. Army Contracting Command-Orlando, and payment in tranches that are dependent on the successful completion of each stage.

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

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