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Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSX VENTURE:UCU)(OTCQX:UURAF) ("Ucore" or the "Company") is pleased to report the results of recent laboratory experiments which have successfully separated the critical metals: dysprosium (Dy), neodymium (Nd) and erbium (Er) from the other rare earth elements (REE) found in a mixed concentrate. The work was performed by IntelliMet LLC of Montana, with composite solutions designed specifically to replicate the contents of the ore from Ucore's Bokan Mountain deposit in South East Alaska. These metallurgy findings are significant, since Dy and Nd are now listed as among the most critically important strategic metals to the United States as determined by the US Department of Energy and US Department of Defense.
"This is yet another industry leading advancement for Ucore," said Jim McKenzie, President & CEO of Ucore. "The isolation of a chemical form of dysprosium from a US-based deposit has been a 'holy grail' of sorts in the domestic rare earth industry. Now that dysprosium has been liberated at laboratory scale, our intent is to pursue this breakthrough at a pilot plant level in conjunction with the Company's arrangement with the US Department of Defense (Defense Logistics Agency(DLA)), announced on Monday of this week."
"Ucore has taken a significant leap toward not just producing a mixed REE concentrate, but also towards separating and refining high purity individual CREO's, or Critical Rare Earth Oxides, on US soil utilizing innovative US technology," continued McKenzie. "We'd like to express our thanks to Ucore Advisory Board member, Dr. Richard Hammen, for his exceptional work in Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) technology. SPE is a uniquely American technology which combines rare earth extraction from process leach solutions with a separation regime that utilizes innovative polymer nanotechnology. This announcement not only enhances our pending Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), but sets the stage for our post-PEA work towards mapping a complete mine-to-metal strategy for heavy REE's in the United States."
The content of this Press Release is based on a presentation made today by Dr. Hammen to the 51st Annual Conference of Metallurgists (ACOM) of the Canadian Institute of Mining in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The presentation, entitled: "The state of the art in separating and purifying the heavy rare earths: solvent exchange, ion exchange, and solid phase extraction, which is the optimal process?" can be accessed through the following link: http://ucore.com/DrHammen2012.pdf
Dr. Hammen, the inventor of the successful process of separating and purifying REEs by SPE, presented the application of the technology to the separation and purification of REE in liquid solutions. He discussed the results utilizing SPE columns specifically developed to improve the speed and expected economy, compared to existing solvent extraction technology, of REE separation and purification. The innovative REE separation method produces chemical transfers of selective elements from a mixed concentrate solution to a solid phase within a few seconds. The SPE columns have the capacity to purify large tonnage of dissolved rare earth-bearing compounds in small flow-through extraction units. This technology is expected to allow for the separation of individual REEs from Bokan in an efficient and economic manner, prospectively reducing processing plant CAPEX and OPEX to a fraction of traditional procedures.
Among the findings set out by Dr. Hammen in his ACOM presentation are the following separation factors for selected critical rare earths:
Displacing Metal Displaced Metal
La Pr Nd Er
Nd 10.7 2.18
Sm 218 4.91
Dy 36.1 11
The results show that REE as a group can be separated efficiently, as a class, only with a single SPE column stage (which is a technical result that will be utilized in Ucore's upcoming PEA). Furthermore, the recent experiments were successful in isolation of several individual REEs, particularly lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, dysprosium and erbium, and represent results that substantially exceed traditional solvent exchange methodologies for REE separation (as set out in the above table), both in terms of separation factors per stage and speed of separation.
NI 43-101 Compliance
Dr. Richard Hammen has prepared the technical data provided in this news release and is the qualified person responsible for its accuracy.
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 Ridge REE property in Alaska. The Bokan - Dotson ridge REE project 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 property is particularly enriched with heavy rare earth elements, including the critical elements Dysprosium, Terbium and Yttrium. Approximately 40% (by weight) of the rare earth elements contained on the Dotson Ridge property are heavy rare earths elements, as disclosed in the Company's NI43-101 compliant resource estimate, released in March of 2011.
IntelliMet LLC is a metallurgy research company located in Missoula, Montana and is a service provider to Ucore.
For more information, please click here
Ucore Rare Metals Inc.
Mr. Jim McKenzie
President and Chief Executive Officer
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