Ucore Commissions Design and Construction of SuperLig®-One Pilot Plant
July 8, 2015 – HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSXV:UCU) (OTCQX:UURAF) (“Ucore” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has commissioned the construction of a pilot plant (“SuperLig®-One”, the “Plant”, or “test unit”) based on Molecular Recognition Technology (“MRT”). The purpose of the Plant will be to test the use of MRT for the separation of rare earth elements (“REE’s”) at bulk scale.
Ucore has contracted with IBC Advanced Technologies, Inc. of American Fork, Utah (“IBC”) for the design and construction of the Plant, targeting completion before the end of 2015. The test unit, with the project name “SuperLig®-One”, will be constructed at IBC. Once complete, the test unit will then be relocated to a third party facility for an independent review of pilot scale test procedures.
“We anticipate that the SuperLig®-One unit will be a high-value asset for Ucore,” said Jim McKenzie, President & CEO of Ucore. “The intention is for the unit to be a test mule, capable of accepting Pregnant Leach Solution (“PLS”) and bulk concentrates from multiple prospective REE feedstock locations around the world. Ucore confirms that it has entered into agreements with various REE feedstock providers, and will be securing test material from a variety of locations over the next 6 months as construction is under way. One high priority source of pilot scale test material will be the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Project in South East Alaska.”
The SuperLig®-One unit is currently undergoing design at IBC. The Plant will be both modular and portable in design, capable of transport to remote testing sites as required. Columnar units within the Plant will contain customized proprietary SuperLig® products that are designed to selectively separate the metal being targeted. To optimize utility, the Plant will be customizable over time, with capacity for treating varying ratios of metals in different PLS feed solutions.
The SuperLig® platform successfully separated the entire suite of REE’s to high purity at bench scale without the use of traditional costly and environmentally invasive solvent extraction techniques (see Ucore Press Release March 2, 2015). The SuperLig®-One unit will be designed to deploy this achievement at pilot scale, refining each of the lanthanides to uniformly high purity, from lanthanum (La) to lutetium (Lu), with the exception of Pm, plus yttrium (Y) and scandium (Sc).
In addition to SuperLig® products designed for REE separation, IBC has an extensive inventory of pre-existing SuperLig® products capable of selectively targeting a range of valuable metals, such as platinum group metals, gold, silver, uranium, bismuth, copper, cobalt, nickel, indium, and rhenium as well as a host of nuisance materials such as radionuclides, lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. In a press release dated March 3, 2015, Ucore announced an exclusive agreement with IBC for the use of SuperLig® technology for all metals in the tailings processing sector, as well as all processing applications related to REE’s.
The mid-term objective is to have the SuperLig®-One unit serve as a prototype for a full sized SuperLig® separation plant, to be located in North America. Such a full sized facility would be capable of receiving rare earth feedstock, in the form of mixed concentrates or PLS, from locations in the Americas and beyond.
Steven R. Izatt, President and CEO of IBC, has approved the scientific and technical content of this news release and is the Qualified Person responsible for its accuracy. Mr. Izatt, Registered Member SME, holds an M.S. in Chemical Engineering Practice and an M.S. in Technology and Policy, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
IBC Advanced Technologies, Inc. is an award-winning, green chemical selective separations company based on innovative MRT products. Headquartered in American Fork, Utah, with manufacturing facilities in Utah and Houston, Texas, IBC has supplied industrial, governmental and academic customers worldwide with environmentally friendly products, processes and services for over 28 years.
IBC specializes in MRT, utilizing green chemistry to achieve highly selective separations of metal ions in complex matrices. Based on Nobel Prize-winning technology (1987), IBC’s proprietary products and processes are used worldwide by premier metals refining and mining companies such as Tanaka Kikinzoku K.K. (Japan), Asarco Grupo Mexico (USA), Impala Platinum Ltd. (South Africa), and Sino Platinum (China). In 2014, the Japanese Government (Mitsubishi Research, Inc.) awarded to IBC a highly competitive subsidy grant, “Demonstration Project for Seawater Purification Technologies”, concerning the selective separation of the radionuclides strontium and cesium from contaminated seawater at Fukushima, Japan. The recent successful completion of this project by IBC demonstrated the viability of using SuperLig® products in this vital application.
IBC’s expertise is illustrated by its extensive development and commercialization of separations systems for platinum group metals (“PGM’s”) at a world level. PGM’s are analogous to the rare earth elements, in that they are considered difficult to selectively separate due to their constituent chemical similarities.
The Ucore-IBC alliance builds on IBC’s proven capabilities to develop, scale-up and commercialize selective separations systems for a number of diverse and complex applications. See www.ibcmrt.com for additional information.
Ucore Rare Metals Inc. is a development-phase mining company focused on establishing rare metal resources and beneficiation technologies with near term potential for production, growth and scalability. 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 developing near term production facilities and limiting the capital costs associated with mine construction.
For further information, please contact Mr. Jim McKenzie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ucore Rare Metals Inc. at: +1 (902) 482-5214 or visit http://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, development timelines, 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.
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