China to Prohibit Export of Heavy Rare Earths Particular to Bokan
August 18, 2009 – Halifax, Nova Scotia – Ucore Uranium (TSX.V:UCU, the “Company”) is pleased to comment on yesterday’s announcement by China’s Ministry of Information Technology (Beijing; 17-Aug-09; as reported in Metal Pages).
According to the Rare Earths Industry Development Plan, 2009-2015 (the “REE Plan”) released yesterday, the Chinese government intends to tighten its administration on the production of rare earths over the next six years. Beijing will also restrict the export of rare earths over this period, with the annual export quota for REE’s to be contained to below 35,000 tpy.
More significantly for Ucore, Beijing has stipulated that the heavy rare earths (HREE’s) dysprosium, terbium, thulium, lutetium and yttrium will not just be cut back, but will be fully prohibited from export under the new REE Plan.
According to a recently released report by Toronto-based Pope & Company (July 2009; “Pope”), Ucore is one of only two companies in North America with a prospective deposit that hosts a comprehensive suite of HREE’s. Further, Ucore is the only such company with an HREE-enriched deposit located within the United States. The U.S. is one of the world’s largest consumers of HREE’s, with a significant stake in sustaining access to these critical technology metals after the Chinese export prohibition comes into effect. A link to a summary of the Pope findings is as follows (Source: Pope & Company, 2009):
Based on the calculations of a 1989 US Bureau of Mines study (Warner and Barker, USBM OFR 33-89), Bokan houses the largest estimated HREE deposit in North America. The USBM report sets out an estimated 374M lbs of rare earth oxides at Bokan (non-43-101 compliant). The marked skew toward heavy rare earth content at Bokan makes this one of the few prospective HREE sites in the world, outside of the currently producing south China ionic clays.
The HREE project at Bokan – Dotson Ridge is operated by Rare Earth One, Ucore’s wholly owned U.S.- based operating unit. On June 15, 2009, Ucore reported one of the more significant HREE drill core intercepts on record from a North American – based heavy rare earth exploration site, with a Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO) grade of 11.5% over 2.5 metres, an impressive 95% of which was comprised of HREE’s. The Company has commenced its 2009 Ground Survey and Drill Program, with new assay results anticipated in the near term.
“The recent events in China are a remarkable development for Ucore,” said Jim McKenzie, president and CEO of Ucore. “With one of the most prospective HREE sites in North America and one of the few prospective HREE targets in the world outside of south China itself, the prohibition of HREE exports from China is a significant event for us. Ucore is now working to generate additional near term drill results along two HREE prospective trends, now estimated to be at least ten kilometers in combined length.”
The term “rare earth elements” is a trade name for the 15 members of the lanthanoid series, plus yttrium, characterized by similar physical and chemical properties, and which are experiencing increasingly high demand in a wide variety of high technology applications. Compared to the light rare earths (LREE’s), the HREE’s are significantly more valuable, with approximately 97% of all HREE’s production originating from the south China ionic clays. Rare earth grades are usually reported as calculated rare earth oxides.
Readers are cautioned that the resource estimates quoted by the US Bureau of Mines were prepared prior to the implementation of National Instrument 43-101 and are therefore of a historical nature. The historical resource estimate does not use the resource categories stipulated in Sections 1.2 and 1.3 of National Instrument 43-101. Ucore believes that the terms “resource” and “resources” are used differently from the use of those terms in NI 43-101. Ucore does not have, and is not aware of, any more recent resource estimates which conform to the standards prescribed in NI 43-101. Ucore has not done the work necessary to verify the classification of the mineral resource estimate and it has not been verified by a Qualified Person. The Company is not treating the historical resource estimate as a NI 43-101 defined resource or reserve, and therefore the historical resource estimate should not be relied upon.
Ucore Uranium Inc. is a junior exploration company focused on establishing REE and uranium resources through exploration and property acquisition. With multiple projects, Ucore’s primary focus is the Rare Earth One operated Bokan – Dotson Ridge rare earth element and uranium project. The project is located on the southern part of the Prince of Wales Island in southeastern Alaska, with excellent deep water access and proximity to major sea and rail shipping routes across North America and to Asia.
For further information, please contact Mr. Jim McKenzie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ucore Uranium Inc. at: (902) 482-5214.
Ucore Uranium Inc.
Signed “Jim McKenzie”
Jim McKenzie, President and CEO
This press release includes certain statements that may be deemed “forward-looking statements”. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address future exploration drilling, exploration activities and events or developments that the Corporation expects, are forward looking statements. Although the Corporation believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include exploitation and exploration successes, continued availability of financing, and general economic, market or business conditions.
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