Ucore COO on the SuperLig®-One separation pilot plant for rare earths
April 7, 2016 – In a special InvestorIntel interview, Publisher Tracy Weslosky speaks with Ken Collison, COO for Ucore Rare Metals, Inc. (TSXV:UCU | OTCQX:UURAF) on the commissioning of the SuperLig®-One rare earth element separation pilot plant. They also discuss Ucore’s Molecular Recognition Technology (MRT) and both the product and green competitive advantage of MRT. Ucore will be presenting at the upcoming Cleantech & Technology Metals Summit on May 10-11th.
Tracy Weslosky: I’d like to start by congratulating you. You just recently announced the completion of construction of SuperLig® pilot plant number one.
Ken Collison: Yeah. It’s been a real milestone for us. We did all the lab work for separating rare earths and scandium and made the announcement I guess about a year ago and so the next step was to build our pilot plant, SuperLig®-One. We’re now well along the way. We’re starting to commission it with water and then we’re preparing pregnant solution right now from sorted ore from Bokan. SGS Lakefield is doing that in Ontario. Then we’ll start commissioning it on PLS from Bokan and then we’ll run it continuously for 2 or 3 weeks on PLS so big step for us.
Tracy Weslosky: And of course, Ucore Rare Metals is one of the few companies that have actually been doing very well in the rare earth sector. Your stock has moved very nicely. With the SuperLig®-One pilot plant you have a very exciting technology that you have the exclusive rights to worldwide. Is that correct?
Ken Collison: Yes we have and the nice thing about its green. There’s been a number of papers written on molecular recognition technology and the fact that it’s green chemistry. You recycle the things you use and it’s quite different than SX. You don’t have to build a football field size plant and you don’t have to spend $200 or $300 million dollars to do it and it’s green.
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Tracy Weslosky: Okay. So for everybody out there in InvestorIntel just in case you don’t necessarily understand the molecular recognition technology process, would you mind just giving us a quick overview of why this will basically revolutionize the extraction of rare earths, is that correct and other technology metals?
Ken Collison: Yeah, other technology metals and other metals as well. One of the big reasons is it recovers 99% of them and it’s clean and it produces very high-grade concentrates. It’s a small unit so low capital costs, low operating costs compared to existing technology. That applies to rare earths, but also other metals and so there’s real opportunity to, sort of, modernize the mining industry cause it really hasn’t changed much in 100 years when it comes to separation of metals. That makes it exciting.
Tracy Weslosky: So Ken, of course, Ucore is going to be presenting at the Cleantech and Technology Metals Summit because of this cleantech revolution and you’re a participant because of this technology. I think I’d like you to explain a little bit more about why this technology is green.
Ken Collison: Well, one of the main reasons is if you look at the traditional way of separating rare earths is solvent extraction. It uses a lot of solvents. There’s a lot of potential environmental issues and existing environmental issues where with this it’s designed so that it doesn’t use a lot of solvents…to access the complete interview, click here
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