“The Company anticipates that our current Rights Offering (“RO“), exercisable exclusively by existing shareholders and at a remarkable discount to the Company’s recent rolling average share price, will be tremendously successful for us,” said Jim McKenzie, President & CEO of Ucore. “Our largest shareholders have already indicated heavy participation in the RO, and broader interest has come from every facet of our very wide and diversified shareholder base. The opportunity for non-accredited shareholders to participate in a financing round of a public company is an extraordinary thing. We encourage those monitoring the exercise deadlines, to refer to the RO information page on the Ucore website.”
The Company’s initial ramp-up has focused on the identification and quantification of rare earth element (“REE“) co-product metals present at the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Rare Earth Project. These efforts have included:
1. The identification of co-product metals which were not considered but physically present within the 2013 Preliminary Economic Assessment’s¹ (“PEA“) planned leach streams by metallurgist, Mr. Edwin Bentzen (see Ucore press release dated September 23, 2019);
2. Quantifying these co-product metals and updating the National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101“) 2015 mineral resource estimate to now include these co-product metals. This 2019 mineral resource update was completed by Aurora Geoscience and disclosed by the Company on October 15, 2019.
With the inclusion of the co-product metals into the 2019 Bokan mineral resource, the 2013 PEA’s Project flowsheet is now under analysis to ensure the cost-effective recovery of these co-product metals, where practicable, within the context of the overall Project economics. The Company is in discussions with SGS Canada Inc. (“SGS“) known at a world level for its mineral processing, metallurgy, and process design expertise to facilitate this review. In parallel with this, SGS is advising Ucore on the hydrometallurgical design of the Alaska Strategic Metals Complex (“Alaska SMC“) REE processing and separation facility.
The Company has retained, Mech-Chem Associates, Inc. (“Mech-Chem“) of Norfolk, MA, as the principal process engineering firm for the initial engineering study of the Alaska SMC. Mech-Chem is a full-service design-build firm specializing in the design, engineering fabrication, and construction of manufacturing facilities, operating processes, acid, chemical, and waste recovery systems, as well as environmental control systems.
Mech-Chem will work closely with the SGS office in Lakefield during this initial engineering study to develop the preliminary capital cost estimate for the Alaska SMC with its solvent extraction (“SX“) processes based upon the reagent products of Solvay (Euronext: SOLB) (“Solvay“) and its CYANEX 572 reagent and associated optimization analytics.
Upon completion of the initially planned engineering work and the associated capital cost estimates, the Company will re-engage with the Alaska Industrial and Export Authority (“AIDEA“) to resume Project financing discussions (see Ucore press release dated October 22, 2018).
Strategic Development of the North American REE Market
The Company remains engaged on multiple fronts in its stated goal of alleviating North America’s dependency on China for rare earth and other critical elements through the development of a U.S. centric REE supply chain founded on U.S. sourced REE. Ucore President & CEO, Jim McKenzie, and Ucore Chairman of the Board, Pat Ryan, are pleased to provide their unique perspectives on Ucore’s pursuit of this objective in the following two videos:
Ucore is very pleased with initially received indications of insider (senior officers, directors and major shareholders) and outsider participation in the Rights Offering. With the support of our shareholders, the Company anticipates the Rights Offering to be a mutually beneficial and successful initial source of funding for its M³ Plan of Action and the subsequent reduction of U.S. dependence on Chinese sourced rare earth elements.