- Canada-based strategic metals innovator Ucore Rare Metals Inc. is preparing to make the leap from proving its rare earth element (“REE”) separation technology to utilizing it in a commercial-scale facility, which the company is set to begin building this year in the United States
- REEs are metals critical to magnets used in modern technologies ranging from smartphones to electric vehicles and U.S. fighter jets
- Industry professionals and government officials have been troubled by the REE industry’s dependence on China for processing the difficult-to-extract metals from mined product, but Ucore’s platform aims to provide a more efficient and cost-effective solution
- Ucore has received a $4 million award from the U.S. Department of Defense to help it demonstrate its capabilities and potential for sustaining national interests in the face of tech espionage concerns between Western countries and China
The race to stop climate change in its tracks by reducing industrial and motor vehicle pollutants has long been stymied, in part, by the difficulty of refining metals vital to modern, greener technology, but Canadian critical technology metals supply chain innovator Ucore Rare Metals (TSX.V: UCU) (OTCQX: UURAF) is positioning its proprietary RapidSX(TM) solvent extraction solution to overcome the obstacles and disrupt the market.
RapidSX(TM) is expected to match and improve on the standard CSX solvent refining process used by China in its market-dominating extraction of rare earth elements (“REEs”) from mined product to prepare them for use in high-grade magnets that convert power into motion for modern technologies that range from smartphones to electric vehicles and F-35 fighter jets.
Ucore has been proving RapidSX(TM) against the standard CSX process at a demonstration plant in Ontario and is preparing to begin construction this year on a commercial-scale facility in Louisiana that will process up to 2,000 metric tons of total rare earth oxides (“TREOs”) by early 2025, separating heavy and light rare earth elements, with scale growth to 7,500 tons in 2027 (https://ibn.fm/G98BL).
The Economic Times recently noted the difficulties mining companies have faced in trying to break free of their reliance on China for REE processing and seeking alternatives for REE processing. Ore may contain any of 17 REE metals, each of which are nearly the same size and atomic weight, making separation complex, the report notes. And the rare earths must be teased out in a specific order, preventing companies from cherry-picking specific elements they may want, it states.
“The rare earths refining process can be very finicky,” University of Arizona’s mining and geological engineering department chief Kray Luxbacker told the publication (https://ibn.fm/kEkoE). “There are just so many complex steps.”
International trade policy conflicts between China and other countries in recent years have heightened concerns about the world’s virtual dependence on Chinese industry for REE processing, however.
“If you can innovate and bring solutions to market that produce rare earths efficiently, you have a tremendous market opportunity” geopolitical consulting firm Horizon Advisory co-founder Nathan Picarsic added.
Ucore’s side-by-side comparison of RapidSX(TM) to CSX at its Ontario plant is designed to show that RapidSX(TM) is a more efficient and cost-effective REE processing method with a shorter overall processing time and lower construction and operation costs. The process results in REE products that are virtually indistinguishable from those made in facilities using CSX.
The facility has hosted tours that have included government personnel, and the company has received a $4 million award from the U.S. federal government to help it demonstrate the capabilities of its solution in sustaining national interests in the face of tech espionage concerns between the United States and China.
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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