Ucore Acquires New Strategic Rare Earth Properties in Alaska
June 6, 2011 – Halifax, Nova Scotia – Ucore Rare Metals Inc (TSX-V:UCU) (OTCQX:UURAF) (“Ucore” or “the Company”) is pleased to report that it has acquired significant additional rare earth-prospective land holdings in Alaska. During May, 2011, the Company completed staking of a substantial claim block in the northern Ray Mountains region of central Alaska, on lands selected for mineral potential by the State of Alaska.
Through its wholly owned subsidiary Landmark Alaska LP, Ucore has completed physical staking and claim recording on approximately 11,400 acres located in the Ray Mountains, in close proximity to the Dalton Highway. The Company has additionally conducted initial geochemical analyses of field-concentrated heavy mineral samples from the region. Most of the initial sample set was collected directly from surface exposures, and the heavy mineral content can be expected to increase at greater depths within the alluvium.
The initial assay results indicate mineral concentrates containing 5% to more than 30% combined valuable metals, with a total rare earth element (REE) content ranging from 1% to 8%. The samples additionally show high heavy REE content, generally ranging between 20% and 30% of total REE’s, and high content of the strategic metal dysprosium (Dy ranges from 2 to 5% of the total REE content). A summary of assay results from the 2008 drill program at the Dotson Zone are available at the following link:
“The State of Alaska has shown tremendous support for Ucore and our plan to expedite the development of America’s preeminent heavy REE asset at Bokan Mountain, Prince of Wales Island,” said Jim McKenzie, President and CEO of Ucore. “With this in mind, we’ve elected to even further invest in Alaskan REE exploration and development. With the Ray Mountains acquisition, we’ve now covered what we believe to be two of the most prospective remaining REE exploration targets. We expect Bokan to become an important source of heavy REE’s to the U.S., and we’ll now begin to evaluate the Ray Mountains property to this end as well.”
Multiple mineralized stream systems and fluvial basins occur across an 80 km-wide section of the Ray Mountains region. Various government surveys during the 1970s and 1980s concluded that significant tin placer deposition of a sub-economic grade or higher are present in the drainages of the Kanuti, Kilolitna and Ray Rivers. The presence of REE was also noted at the time. The greater area is extensively eroded, forming widespread outwash fans, alluvial terraces, and generations of stream channels evident in this part of the northern intermontane region which escaped scouring by the Quaternary continental ice sheets.
Ucore’s extensive new claim package is aligned with major alluvial features of the Ray Mountains region. REE’s and associated metals such as tin have been found to occur in the alluvial outwash of the Ruby granitic batholith located there. The target metals are contained in heavy minerals which are widespread across the area, known to be resistant to weathering, and believed by Ucore geologists to be highly prospective for potentially valuable REE content and other associated rare metals. The Company has scheduled an initial reconnaissance program for the Ray Mountains project to commence this year.
The rare metal placers of the Ray Mountains contain REE as monazite and xenotime, tin as cassiterite, tungsten as wolframite, and zirconium as zircon. Minor amounts of niobium and tantalum have also been identified. Unlike hardrock deposits, heavy mineral placers can be effectively concentrated via conventional gravity separation and processing methods using only water as the separation medium. Additionally, the technology to process a monazite-xenotime placer concentrate for contained REE’s has long been known elsewhere in the world and poses no new metallurgical challenges.
The State of Alaska has been highly proactive in encouraging the exploration and development of strategic rare earth metals known to be critically important to the United States. As part of the Alaska State Budget which commences July 1, 2011, Alaska Governor Sean Parnell has announced a $500,000 allocation to the strategic assessment of REE resources within the state. Under the Alaska Statehood Act of 1959, Alaska is entitled to approximately 105 million of its own acres for resource development and other uses, and Ucore’s Ray Mountains project is situated within lands selected under this entitlement.
Ucore’s analysis of initial Ray Mountains samples indicates anomalous content of the heavy REE known as dysprosium. High relative dysprosium content is also a hallmark of Ucore’s flagship project at Bokan Mountain in Southeast Alaska. In a recent document warning of the strategic importance of REE to new energy-and defense related technologies, the U.S. Department of Energy noted that dysprosium is the most critical of the elements they evaluated and is currently derived only from sources in China.
Ucore Rare Metals Inc. is a well-funded junior exploration company focused on establishing REE, uranium and other rare metal 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 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 expediting mine production and limiting the capital costs associated with mine construction.
The Bokan properties are located in an area reserved for sustainable resource development with an existing road network providing access to the main target areas. REE mineralization at the Bokan-Dotson ridge project occurs in a well-demarcated vein system related to a Mesozoic Bokan peralkaline granitic complex. However, a number of other occurrences of REE mineralization are also located within, or at the margins of the complex. Viewed in a geological and geophysical context, the Bokan complex is a distinctive circular structure and is highly prospective for rare earths deposits.
James Barker, P. Geo., has reviewed the technical data relative to the surface sample assays referenced herein and is the qualified person responsible for their accuracy.
For further information, please contact Mr. Jim McKenzie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ucore Rare Metals Inc. at: (902) 482-5214 or visit www.ucore.com
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.