Drilling Commences at Ucore’s Bokan – Dotson Ridge Heavy Rare Earth Project
(Halifax, N.S., July 15, 2010) Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSX-V: UCU; “Ucore”, or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that drilling has commenced at its 100% owned Bokan – Dotson Ridge rare earth element (REE) project located in southeast Alaska.
Ucore has approved a budget of more than $3 million for the 2010 drilling season at Bokan – Dotson Ridge, to be administered by the Company’s wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, Rare Earth One LLC. The program will consist of diamond drilling with a minimum target of 4000 meters of drill core. Exploration work will also include extensive ground mapping, surface sampling and mineral characterization initiatives, as well as ground geophysics activities to assess more than 30 known REE-bearing prospects which have never been drilled.
The 2010 program will continue under the supervision of Aurora Geosciences (Alaska) Ltd. of Juneau, Alaska in cooperation with Ucore’s senior geological staff. Drill permits have been issued by the U.S. Forest Service. More Core Drilling of Stewart, British Columbia has been retained to provide diamond drilling services on a 24 hour per day basis, with drill activity expected to proceed into September of this year. Additionally, Collison and Associates has been retained for scoping and pre-feasibility work on the prospective heavy rare earth mine at Bokan, as well as the planning of progressive underground exploration.
Ucore acquired the Bokan property in 2007, and has completed 5,779 meters of drilling over 73 drill holes since exploration commencement. In 2009, in response to a rapidly emerging heavy rare earth (HREE) supply crisis in the United States, the Company transitioned from a concentration on uranium exploration to the substantiation of a significant historical rare earth deposit at Bokan.
The 2009 program focused on the Dotson, Geoduck, and Sunday Lake areas, with work at the centrally located Dotson Shear producing drill results consistent with historical USBM estimates for the subject areas and target depths. Specific holes returned heavy rare earth content in excess of 90%, measured as a component of the total rare earths (Holes 08-32 & 09-65; at I&L and Sunday Lake), which are among the highest HREE skews on record for a North American rare earth deposit. The 2009 drill season also identified continuous REE mineralization along a strike length exceeding two kilometers along the Dotson Trend.
“Metal Pages recently announced an aggressive cut back on export quotas of rare earths out of China”, commented Jim McKenzie, President and CEO of Ucore Rare Metals. “For the second half of 2010, Chinese shipments will be capped at 7,976 metric tons,down from 28,417 tons for the same period a year ago, which amounts to a 72 percent decrease in exports. This is as significant shut down of critical rare earth supplies over a much more constricted time frame than previously anticipated by the United States. In turn, the urgency for securing strategic domestic supply is now markedly higher, and the anticipated rare earth shortfall is unfolding much more quickly than we had previously believed.”
“Considered by many to be the nearest heavy rare earth facility to production on U.S. soil, our objective for Bokan will be to transition from the delivery of an NI 43-101 compliant Inferred Resource this year to production pre-feasibility immediately thereafter”, continued McKenzie. “There’s been a strong show of support for expedited rare earth production at Bokan, from both the State of Alaska and at the Senate level in Washington. Thus, the political response to meeting this supply crisis head-on has been very rapid, to say the least, with prospective economic and permitting measures designed to obtain domestic heavy rare earth production within the U.S. as quickly as possible.”
Ucore Rare Metals Inc. is a well-funded junior exploration company focused on establishing REE and uranium resources through exploration and property acquisition. 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 project is located 60 km southwest of Ketchikan, Alaska and 140 km northwest of Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The project area is served by barge and float plane from Ketchikan, with a pre-existing road network providing access to the main target areas. REE mineralization at the Bokan-Dotson Ridge project is structurally controlled in multiple dikes and veins radial to a peralkaline intrusive complex.
In 1989, a U.S. Bureau of Mines study (Barker & Warner, USBM OFR 33-89) estimated that the greater Bokan area contains 37.8 million tons of TREO at an average grade of 0.50%. This historical, non NI 43-101 complaint estimate, equates to 374 million lbs of contained TREO. With an estimated skew toward HREE content estimated at approximately 50% of total rare earths, the area ranks as one of the most prospective and accessible heavy rare earth enriched projects in North America.
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. A qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate contained hereunder as current mineral resources. 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.
For further information, please contact Mr. Jim McKenzie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ucore Rare Metals Inc. at: (902) 482-5214.
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 Company expects, are forward looking statements. Although the Company 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.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.