Ucore Comments on Dysprosium Price Gains
According to Metal-Pages.com, the spot price for dysprosium oxide is currently $1490/kg, a more than four-fold increase since the beginning of 2011. The record highs are the result of recent strategic changes by the central authorities in Beijing, including more stringent environmental regulations, the sharp reduction of export quotas, and the government mandated consolidation of producing rare earth mines in China.
While the spot and the contract prices of all of the strategic rare earths have experienced significant increases this year, dysprosium (Dy) stands apart. In 2011, Dy prices have undergone the highest relative increases compared to all other rare earths, as shown by reference to the Metal-Pages Index. The M-P Index has recorded a 423% increase in Dy spot prices since January 4, 2011, with approximately one quarter of the incremental gains occurring in the month of May alone. The high relative increase in dysprosium spot prices is closely followed by those for terbium (Tb), which has had a 391% gain since January 4, 2011.
“While these spot prices are rooted in current supply and demand dynamics, there’s no question that this is a watershed year for heavy REE economics,” said Jim McKenzie, President & CEO of Ucore. “The days of unnaturally devalued Dy prices are unquestionably behind us, and the price ceiling is now anyone’s guess. Ucore is perhaps better positioned than any other U.S. entity to benefit from the unprecedented gains. The Bokan deposit has now been established as the largest 43-101 compliant dysprosium resource in the U.S. Dysprosium is now one of the largest valuation components of the Bokan resource, and the metal has almost tripled in value since Ucore issued its resource calculation just three short months ago. Demand is now higher than ever, there are no realistic or effective substitutes, and the time horizon to Dy production here in Alaska is quite likely the shortest on U.S. soil.”
Dysprosium has been highlighted as being among the highest priority and most critical strategic metals now consumed world-wide for military, high technology and clean energy applications. A December 2010 report by the US Department of Energy named Dy as the single most critically threatened strategic metal to the United States (USDOE Critical Materials Strategy: http://www.energy.gov/news/documents/criticalmaterialsstrategy.pdf). Dysprosium is used in multiple automotive, aerospace, defense, high tech and clean tech applications and its properties enable rare earth permanent magnets to have the heat resistance critical to “under-the-hood” applications in the OEM automotive industry and to the intensive environmental charges encountered by military equipment and ordnance.
Similarly, the United States Congress has recently highlighted strategic rare earths including dysprosium as being increasingly critical to U.S. national defense applications. In a recent report issue by the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, the following language has been included in their FY12 version of the Defense Appropriations Bill: “The Committee recognizes the criticality of rare earth materials in numerous advanced weapons systems and equipment and understands the importance of having a domestic supply of these critical elements. The Committee urges the Secretary of Defense to rebuild a rare earth materials supply chain within the United States that includes the production of rare earth minerals, oxides, metals, alloys, and permanent magnets.”
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.
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.