Ucore Comments on House Armed Services Committee Dysprosium Stockpile Initiative
June 13, 2013 (Source: Marketwire) — Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSX VENTURE:UCU) (“Ucore” or the “Company”) is pleased to comment on a legislative proposal before the Armed Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. The initiative urges the U.S. Department of Defense to secure supplies of high priority strategic rare earth elements (“REE’s”).
China currently supplies about 97% of REE’s utilized worldwide, with US policymakers fearing that total dependence on China could compromise vital U.S. defense systems.
The legislation would authorize the expenditure of USD$41 million by the US government to stockpile six critical metals. Two of these metals are the heavy rare earth elements dysprosium (Dy) and yttrium (Y). Dy and Y comprise a significant percentage of the heavy REE content at Ucore’s Bokan deposit in Southeast Alaska. According to a recent report issued by the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Bokan deposit is now recognized the most significant heavy REE deposit on US soil (http://minerals.cr.usgs.gov/projects/Bokan_Mtn_REE/index.html).
Both dysprosium and yttrium are critical to multiple US defense systems, in addition to domestic high technology and clean energy applications. Dysprosium is a crucial ingredient in neodymium-iron-boron magnets as a means of increasing coercivity, applications of which include aircraft actuator motors in flight control systems, landing gear, and munitions. Yttrium is critical to the defence industry applications such as the manufacture of various ceramic and glass materials required in jet engines. The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) development program relies on both Dy and Y as critical input components.
Washington commentator Jeff Green, President of J.A. Green & Company applauded the proposed legislation, noting that “though this stockpiling plan would mitigate immediate national security risks, more needs to be done to develop long-term and sustainable industrial base solutions”. The commentary echoed the recent statement by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), stating that “rather than sit on our hands while China corners the market on these strategic elements, we can and should pursue timely production of the rare earth supplies that exist within our own borders”.
“We’re pleased that the House Armed Services Committee is addressing the impending crisis in reliable availability of critical heavy REE’s to the US Department of Defense supply chain,” said Jim McKenzie, President and CEO of Ucore. “In this context, Ucore and its Bokan deposit can play a pivotal role addressing the need for domestic heavy REE input components.”
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About Ucore Rare Metals Inc.
Ucore Rare Metals Inc. is a well-funded development-phase mining company focused on establishing rare metal resources with near term production potential. With multiple projects across North America, Ucore’s primary focus is the 100% owned Bokan – Dotson rare earth element deposit in Alaska. The deposit is located 60 km southwest of Ketchikan, Alaska and 140 km northwest of Prince Rupert, British Columbia and has direct ocean access to the western seaboard and the Pacific Rim, a significant advantage in developing near term production facilities and limiting the capital costs associated with mine construction.
The Bokan – Dotson deposit is particularly enriched with heavy rare earth elements, including the critical elements Dysprosium and Yttrium. Approximately 40% (by weight) of the rare earth elements contained in the deposit are heavy rare earth elements, as disclosed in the Company’s NI43-101 compliant resource estimate, released in March of 2011.
The Bokan – Dotson deposit is the subject of a Preliminary Economic Assessment which was prepared by Tetra Tech of Vancouver (Preliminary Economic Assessment on the Bokan Mountain Rare Earth Element Project, Near Ketchikan, Alaska, dated March 4, 2013).
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