“We’re delighted to welcome these highly capable members to the SX Team. SGS, Mech-Chem, and Ucore collectively represent a potentially game-changing capability to develop a rare earth separation facility in the U.S. in the near future,” said Jim McKenzie, President & CEO of Ucore. “These participants bring unsurpassed capability in the areas of design, engineering, piloting, and testing of mineral processing facilities. Combined with Ucore’s experience in the rare earth market and access to AIDEA [Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority] financing, we believe that we have created a formidable team to compete for opportunities to solve the U.S. government’s rare earth supply chain gaps, and we should be the leading option for future funding opportunities.”
“The U.S. Department of Defense is now pursuing the ways and means of establishing HREE separation capabilities within the U.S.,” said Pat Ryan, Chairman of Ucore. “More specifically, a solicitation for the separation of HREE is expected to be issued as early as this week. Without a doubt, this highly focused opportunity fits hand-in-glove with Ucore’s HREE advantages, and our already substantial financing pipeline from the State of Alaska. We look forward to advancing our multi-point solution to the emergent U.S. HREE supply chain.”
“No other proponent has assembled the combination of experience, capability and pre-approved financing represented by Ucore,” stated Ucore COO Mike Schrider. “The SX Team, utilizing products from world-leading solvent extraction reagent producer Solvay, makes for a compelling and highly proven SX platform. We couldn’t be more pleased with the combination of talent and resources and look forward to submitting the highest-quality, lowest-risk proposal to bring HREE production to the U.S.”
The Defense Production Act (“DPA“) Title III office this year released a request for information on potential HREE separation in the U.S., which Ucore responded to in July 2019. The Ucore submission noted the Company’s planned SX Plant, with processing and separation capabilities targeting individual HREE oxides, in Southeast Alaska. Also emphasized was the Company’s access to a long-term, sustainable source of HREE at the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Rare Earth Project (“Bokan“), the site of the highest grade NI 43-101 HREE mineral resource i within America.
Ucore has pursued HREE mineral resource exploration and development since 2009, securing financing undertakings from AIDEA to develop Bokan, which includes the planned Alaska Strategic Metals Complex (“Alaska SMC“) REE processing and separation facility to be located within or near Ketchikan, Alaska. The Company plans to specifically tailor SX technology, through the use of Solvay’s CYANEX 572 reagents, into one of the most environmentally sound and efficient SX processes in the world; eventually resulting in the full-scale Alaska SMC to produce rare earth oxides meeting North America’s defense and commercial needs, as well as the environmental stewardship requirements of Alaska.