EDITOR: | April 26th, 2016 | 12 Comments

Lifton says Ucore’s rare earth technology will be innovative and disruptive

| April 26, 2016 | 12 Comments

Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSXV: UCU | OTCQX: UURAF | FSE: U9U) is a development-phase company focused on rare metals resources, extraction and beneficiation technologies. On March 3, 2015, Ucore announced the right to acquire a controlling ownership interest in the exclusive rights to IBC SuperLig® technology for rare earths and multi-metallic tailings processing applications in North America and associated world markets. The company has a 100% ownership stake in Bokan- Dotson Ridge, the highest-grade heavy rare earth project within the United States, and with the emphasis being on the dysprosium, terbium and yttrium content.

April 26, 2016 — Last week, in Part 1 of a special interview, InvestorIntel spoke with technology metals advisor Jack Lifton, who explained how SuperLig® technology made Ucore “the company to beat” in the non-Chinese tech metals refining space. Now, in this second part, Jack elaborates on those points and talks about

    • The “culling of the herd” – how only the real REE companies are left
    • How it will be possible to recycle rare metals just as we do copper, lead and platinum
    • How Ucore can make Western industrial nations competitive in the rare earth sector

Jack Lifton: Ucore’s output product in the rare earth area is immediately of great interest to the great industrial nations; the United States, Germany, Japan, Korea. None of them is currently producing rare earths from mines or processing rare earths in any way. Every one of them – added together 50% at least of the world’s rare earths go to those four nations. That’s your market. The industrialized nations for – majority of course for consumer devices, but a significant minority for military.

There are two ways to look at the demand for rare earth permanent magnets or the materials to make them and we’re – the reason I mention we’re at permanent magnets, they’re the overwhelming majority of end use of rare earths. There are two reasons to be optimistic. One is that China is using more and more of these materials every year and simply cannot produce enough to meet its own demand. But better than that is that there is no source of these materials for the rest of the world, none.

What’s the demand? The demand is will people continue to buy cell phones? Will people continue to buy automobiles, washing machines, vacuum cleaners? Every one of them uses rare earth permanent magnets. They’re manufactured in the United States, Germany, Japan, Korea. That’s where they’re really manufactured. Those nations produce most of them. Those nations do not have domestic supply or domestic self sufficiency.

You are bringing to the market a competitive edge for the western industrial nations. As an American, I’m proud to say you’re going to be in Utah and it’s going to help us get back to being self sufficient in production of consumer goods which we cannot be without plants like yours…to access the complete video, click here

Disclaimer: Ucore Rare Metals Inc. is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel.


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  • Chris Hughes

    Jack, please correct me if I am wrong, but I understand Ucore will be intending to produce a mix of technology metals very similar to that currently being produced by Lynas, i.e. rare earths?. If I am correct, I fail to understand why you continue to promote the future benefits of a company that one day may produce rare earth meatls, from technology which is obviously still very much in the development stage and certainly not proven at scale?
    Surely in an article of this nature the correct facts should be recorded? Lynas is currently the only processor and manufacturer of rare earths outside of China, and is to the best of my knowledge supplying these technology metals to customers in Japan and Europe, with some even going back into China?
    Lynas will very shortly be releasing their production and sales figures for quarter end 31 March 2016. It would be great to see some recognition recorded in IITL for the efforts of Lynas management in their continued development of the Lynas business thus enabling the company to provide a reliable alternative ROW supply of rare earths that are independent of China. In fact seems to me Lynas are currently supplying exactly the same markets you are suggesting Ucore will be targeting?
    If and when Ucore ever get to the point of production and supply, that would probably be the correct time for you to be extolling their virtues as a producer of rare earth metals?

    April 26, 2016 - 7:15 PM

  • Alex

    Is it possible for MRT to saparate Nd and Pr – which purity if yes.
    What is operation costs for MRT (resin cost which is used as saparation membrans) .
    How it can be compeared with operations costs of saparation LHRE carbonate to individual oxides
    Lynas 11-12 USD per kg
    Kazakstan 6 USD per kg
    Vietnam 4 USD per kg
    China 3.5 USD per kg

    Where is MRT costs ?

    April 27, 2016 - 1:19 AM

  • JJBeswick

    where on earth did you source these numbers??
    There are serious inaccuracies.
    The Lynas figure you quote is their cost of production, not just separation.
    mining -> beneficiation -> cracking -> leaching&separation -> finishing
    If the other figures quoted actually ARE for just separation, then credibility requires that you quote a source.

    April 27, 2016 - 4:34 AM

  • Alex

    Yes for Lynas it is may be not correct from their cost of production 14-15 we need to mines the cost of mixed carbonate. Kazakstan and Vietnam data I have from toling operation costs . Chinese data – estimation

    April 27, 2016 - 7:13 AM

  • shankar vishwanath

    Hi Jack, why is Lynas visibly absent from your comments?They are the only other significant rear earth producer outside of China.

    There are several comments on industry forums regarding this statement. your comments please?

    April 27, 2016 - 7:51 AM

  • jeff stufsky

    I’ll set aside the first two questions below in favor of the third one:
    1. How much more rare earths production is needed “today and tomorrow”?
    ₋ Such fundamental inquiry is difficult to assess and debate in the absence of the sort of transparent supply/demand information (including micro applications by specific metal and product/use) that is available for so many other commodities, but will accept that additional volumes of new production for certain metals will indeed be required.
    2. Will this technology actually work as planned on a commercial scale?
    ₋ Let’s simply assume that – along with other new or tweaked technologies – it will “work”; and on an effectively deposit-indifferent basis.
    3. How much cheaper will be this technology be – on a capex and opex basis – than the familiar processes currently in use?
    ₋ Including the uncertainty associated with questions 1 and 2, this 3rd question becomes even more important to answer than it normally is in the mining space; otherwise we are back to assuming that rare earths prices will be high enough to sustain the fortunes of all primary rare earths producers. The question to the question is how can we tell what a “low cost” process/producer (and industry survivor) means in the absence of cost curves familiar in other metals (e.g., base, precious), which is a calculative challenge for poly-metallic deposits?

    April 27, 2016 - 10:03 AM

  • Jack Lifton

    Chris, Shankar, et al

    Chris, you are correct but only for light rare earths. LYNAS doesn’t separate heavy rare earths and doesn’t have the technology for it. Lynas has had little choice in the current global marketplace but to sell its SEGH concentrate to China for separation.
    As to costs for LYNAS Kazakhstan, Vietnam, and China:
    As a commenter has already explained those numbers do not refer to the same part of the value chain. The Chinese and Vietnamese figures are about right, but are for separation only, while those for Lynas are from cracking the ore through the purification/separation of the individual (and also purpose mixed) light rare earths. Lynas is an excellent company.

    MRT is a separation technology for ALL of the rare earths that has been proved at a pilot scale running at a multi-ton per annum rate. IBCAT/Ucore is now constructing a scaled up facility to process multiples of a thousand tons per annum. MRT’s footprint is very small compared to SX and its CAPEX and OPEX are much less than those for SX. Additionally the MRT process is MUCH faster and has a wider range of acceptance of pregnant leach solution pH.

    MRT ligands have been developed and tested for some 70 chemical elements, such as platinum group metals-where the technology is in wide use already, alkali earth metals, transition metals, and radioactive elements (MRT ligands are amazingly stable in hard radiation systems such as those of plutonium salts, for example).

    I think many readers are confusing the Bokan Mountain deposit’s development, which is a mining venture, with IBCAT’s MRT, which is a technology venture with wide application across the natural resource refining space.

    Corporate mental Inertia and the existing investment in installed separation and purification capacity have long dictated the costs and directions taken by natural resource producers, refiners, and marketers. This has only been reinforced by the financialization of mining share trading and of rampant commodity speculation.

    As the reality of impossible indebtedness rears its ugly head, and slows, even stops “growth,” we realize that we must find ways to utilize low grade ores and already above ground residues and to re-use resources whenever and wherever possible so that we can maintain enough flow of the “minor and companion (to base metals) metals” to sustain our economies, green or otherwise.
    MRT is now a well developed chemical process that has been engineered over the last 30 years.
    The UCORE/IBCAT linkup is now marketing the technology to the global marketplace.
    The times they are, at last, a-changing.


    April 27, 2016 - 10:07 AM

  • Jack Lifton

    You are as always, right-on. I am planning to discuss all of the issues you have raised, here, on Investorintel and in talks I have scheduled in New York, Toronto (at the Investorintel Cleantech conference), Barcelona, Paris, and Chicago over the next two months. I think that we have to address how our society is going to maintain a sustainable flow of critical natural resources. Free market capitalism has morphed mostly into a financial engineering market so that wealth creation, WIDELY ENJOYED,the very reason that governments had for leaving it alone has been vitiated. I think it is urgently necessary for capitalism and government to combine to underwrite a rational program to sustain and maintain the minimum flow of critical natural resources to keep our civil society intact.
    And now back to our regular program of share-price manipulation and commodity speculation…


    April 27, 2016 - 10:26 AM

  • jeff stufsky


    For better and/or worse, the US economic model was built on seemingly libtertarian/frontier principles that – from inception through today – has instead employed a “big hand” approach of grants, subsidies, credits, taxes, import/export duties, shared (military) technology, and penalties to “nudge” behavior and new developments without necessarily dominating the process. So far, so good (or not so bad). As ever, the the question of “fairness”, “smartness” or “correctness” is whether it benefits “me” or “you”? I would prefer the former, even better with some advance notice, and then things are “good”.

    April 27, 2016 - 11:05 AM

  • Jack Lifton

    So long as anyone born with the skills and luck to be able to succeed and live in a gated community; fly privately; and never worry about food, shelter, or climate can attain to those goals through capitalism then capitalism rightly will flourish. If the hope dies then the society grows restless and dangerous as it is more and more out of influence and its only access to comforts such as the above is through entertainment media.
    I think that the self sustaining nature of credentialism and eltism has made both once objects of hope and even veneration into increasingly objects of scorn.
    I think that an Obama succeeded by a Trump is indicative of a volatility of popular will that will end badly in a world awash in debt and wealth destruction.
    Other than that have a nice day


    April 27, 2016 - 11:23 AM

  • hackenzac

    MRT is a separation technology for ALL of the rare earths that has been proved at a pilot scale running at a multi-ton per annum rate. IBCAT/Ucore is now constructing a scaled up facility to process multiples of a thousand tons per annum.
    That’s quite a bold material statement, Jack. I hope that you haven’t gone out too far on a limb in making it and that we will have official confirmation of it shortly. Personally, I’m taking it at face value but the skeptics are running wild around the intertubes. Please elaborate if you are able to.

    April 29, 2016 - 9:39 AM

  • alehandro

    Did any of you hear about this news and what do you think about this technology !! http://finance.yahoo.com/news/urban-mining-company-secures-25m-165200991.html

    June 26, 2016 - 10:42 AM

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