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Critical Metals Independence: Now, More Critical than Ever.

Dave Jackson Dave Jackson, Stockhouse
2 Comments| April 26, 2022

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One of the many consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been the disruption in supply chain commodities, not the least of which is Western sanctions on rare earth elements (REEs) originating from Russia. This, coupled with China’s dominance of over 60% of the world’s supply of REEs, has created an existential need for a steady and reliable supply of vital metals – especially to help feed the voracious appetite of the booming electric vehicle market.

Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (Ucore) (TSXV:UCU, OTCQX:UURAF, Forum) has a strategic plan to deliver “leading advanced technology that provides separation and mining services to the mining and mineral extraction industry.” At the same time, the company is guided by the principles of being socially and environmentally responsible with good corporate governance (ESG).

Part of Ucore’s mission is to ensure that unpredictable political decisions and military conflict does not lead to the loss of thousands of “green” technology jobs as manufacturers are forced to set up overseas to access essential critical metals. The company says that is must continue play its part to keep the US and North America (markets) competitive in the 21st century and, most importantly, secure from foreign adversaries.


Rare Earth Elements Supply: A Clear and Present Danger?

Rare Earths are a collection of 17 elements and are integral components to the development and manufacturing of over 200 products, including cellphones, computer hard drives, and electric & hybrid-electric vehicles. REEs are also used in various industrial applications, clean energy, aerospace, automotive and defense. According to Ucore, its corporate vision includes disrupting China’s dominance of the US’s REE supply chain through the development of an REO processing facility – the Alaska Strategic Metals Complex (SMC) – in Southeastern Alaska and the long-term development of its REE resource located at Bokan Mountain on Prince of Wales Island near Ketchikan.

Along with resource development through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Innovation Metals Corp., Ucore is commercializing leading-edge critical metals separation technology. The company’s proprietary, environmentally-sound, and state-of-the-art critical metals separation technology platform, RapidSX, is an accelerated solvent extraction-based (SX) separation technology created for the seamless separation of critical and other metal feedstocks.


(Click image to enlarge)


In the News

On April 20th, Ucore and German multinational conglomerate thyssenkrupp AG (OTCPK: TYEKF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for feedstock supply of a minimum of 1,000 tons per annum (tpa) of mixed rare earth carbonate to Ucore’s Alaska SMC by 2024 with substantial increases planned for subsequent years. The company says the Alaska SMC will initially produce up to 2,000 tpa of individual rare earth oxides, expandable to over 5,000 tpa by 2026. The parties have agreed to work toward a 10-year binding contract.

Ucore’s Chairman and CEO, Pat Ryan, commented on the partnership:

Click to enlarge“thyssenkrupp Materials Trading is a stalwart in the global critical metals industry and the perfect prospective partner for Ucore's development of an independent rare earth supply chain in North America. The execution of this MOU, effective January 20, 2022, ensures that Ucore will have diverse sources of feedstock for the Alaska SMC, increasing our security of supply. Additionally, it allows the Parties to consider various forms of a contractual supply and marketing relationship as Ucore continues to develop and secure aspects of its envisioned REE supply chain, and as thyssenkrupp further strengthens its position as a worldwide critical materials acquisition leader.”

Also of note, on January 20th, Ucore offered a detailed recap of its 2021 rare earth supply chain groundwork activities, corporate accomplishments, and a detailed outline of company’s direction for 2022.


The Bottom Line: A Clear Path Forward

Through a series of strategic partnerships, its 100% ownership stake in the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Rare-Earth Element Project, strong ESG and a laser-sharp focus on rare and critical metals resources, extraction, beneficiation, and separation technologies…Ucore has visibly demonstrated the potential for production, steady growth, and scalability for years to come.


VIDEO: Ucore Rare Metals Inc. 2021 Business Plan with Pat Ryan, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer


(Click image to play video)

For more information, please visit ucore.com.


FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by Stockhouse Publishing.


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Comments

Who is specifically funding the SMC (a private and strategic money split)? Who if any are talking to Ucore re., offtakes from the SMC? The MOUs with Thy' and Vital are costs to Ucore? Lot of questions to be answered before a SMC buildout I sense.
(30)
April 27, 2022

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