Federal Agency Increases Involvement in Bokan Heavy Rare Earth Project
(Halifax, N.S., Sept. 2, 2010) Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSX-V: UCU), (“Ucore” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that the United States Geological Survey (USGS), a division of the US Department of the Interior, has moved to increase its involvement at the Company’s Bokan Mountain Heavy Rare Earth project in Southeast Alaska.
In 2009, the USGS awarded a significant research grant to further study the Bokan Mountain rare earth and uranium deposit, to be conducted by the geological departments of four Canadian universities (see Ucore Press Release May 27, 2009). That study, under the direction of Dr. Jaroslav Dostal of St. Mary’s University in Halifax, continues in 2010.
In addition to the foregoing, the USGS has now sent a team of geoscientists to Bokan for the purpose of advancing the U.S. government’s understanding of the area’s unique Heavy Rare Earth (HREE) mineralogy, believed to be the largest historically documented HREE deposit in the United States. The USGS field work, completed in August, 2010, was conducted under the supervision of USGS resource and geological specialists Bradley van Gosen, Dr. Philip Verplanck, and Richard Grauch. Also in attendance were Dr. Anthony Mariano, an internationally recognized expert in rare earth mineralogy; James Barker, co-author of the USBM study of Bokan originally compiled in 1988; and Dr. Dostal, a recognized expert in ore genesis.
As an outcome of the 2010 study, the USGS intends to utilize the Dotson Ridge area of Bokan as a means of analyzing vein-type REE deposits and alternative REE deposits associated with alkaline-peralkaline complexes. The USGS team examined multiple areas comprising the Bokan Complex, the Dotson Shear, Geoduck, Wennie, and Geiger zones. Research was also conducted at the Sunday Lake zone, an area which has yielded among the highest HREE grades on record for a North American rare earth deposit.
Of particular interest are terbium and dysprosium, which are among the most scarce and valuable metals in the world, and which have been found in anomalously high grades in the Bokan area. “The U.S. government is quite interested in these minerals because they are of military importance,” said Dr. Mariano. China has moved to decrease the export of these essential metals to the U.S. and elsewhere, thereby increasing interest in securing short and long term domestic supplies within the U.S.
“We welcome the involvement of the USGS at Bokan,” said Jim McKenzie, President and CEO of Ucore. “Not only will their expertise help us to identify and assess the unusual chemical, mineralogical, and structural aspects of this complex project area, their work will also highlight the significance of Bokan’s unusual concentrations of HREE’s, to various US policy makers. Scientific studies by the USGS have been, and will continue to be, of great benefit as we integrate their studies with our exploration data and move toward defining a resource at Bokan.”
The USGS is a scientific agency of the US government, and is a bureau of the US Department of the Interior. The Mineral Resources External Research Program of the USGS supports research projects which will assist in securing a sustainable supply of minerals for the future, while delivering mineral information of critical importance to national security.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report in April 2010 detailing the likelihood of national security risks arising from a U.S. dependency upon rare earth elements from non domestic sources such as China. The report concluded that U.S. defense systems will likely continue to depend heavily upon HREE materials, based on their life cycles and a relative lack of effective non rare earth substitutes. The U.S. Department of Defense has indicated that it will complete its assessment of this dependency in September 2010.
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 at an average grade of 0.50% TREO. 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 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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