Ucore Divides Alaska Projects to Focus on Rare Earths
Ucore Uranium Inc. (TSX-V: UCU; the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it is separating its Alaska holdings into two independent projects in order to maximize shareholder value.
The Ross Adams Mine and surrounding claim block will continue to be known as the Bokan Mountain Uranium Project (“Bokan Mountain”). Ucore’s claim holdings to the north and east of Bokan Mountain and spatially removed from Bokan’s Ross Adams mine area will be separated into an independent project to be known as the Dotson Ridge Rare Earth Project (“Dotson Ridge”). Dotson Ridge will become the primary focus of Rare Earth One, Ucore’s wholly owned U.S. based subsidiary.
“The recent dramatic upswing in the rare earth markets has not been lost on us,” said Jim McKenzie, President and CEO of Ucore. “Bokan Mountain remains a highly attractive uranium target, being one of the highest grade U3O8 producers ever on U.S. soil, and with uranium mineralization in the Ross Adams uranium mine that remains open at depth. Nonetheless, the Dotson Ridge is recognized as one of only a handful of heavy rare earth element prospects in North America, and needs to be accorded a dedicated focus as the company moves ahead. As a result, the vast majority of our exploration expenditures this year will be dedicated to Dotson Ridge and its superior rare earth potential.”
In the map representation, Bokan Mountain is located to the west, with high grade uranium hosted within, or at the margins of, a peralkaline ring-dyke intrusive complex. Viewed in a geological and geophysical context, Bokan Mountain appears as a distinctive circular structure and is highly prospective for both uranium and thorium, but is not considered to be highly prospective for rare earths.
By comparison, Dotson Ridge is spatially separated from Bokan Mountain, and is located to the north and east of the area map. Unlike Bokan Mountain, Dotson Ridge is considered highly prospective for rare earths, but not highly prospective for uranium or thorium. As indicated on the map, Dotson Ridge is comprised of two distinct trends: the Dotson Trend and the Sunday Trend. The Dotson Trend commences at the I&L zone and extends for a minimum of six kilometers to the southeast, including the Dotson Shear, Lookout, Barker and Geoduck zones, as well as the Cheri splay. The Sunday Trend extends from Sunday Lake northward across Moira Sound for a minimum of four kilometers. Together, the two known trends and related splays of Dotson Ridge comprise in excess of ten kilometers of highly prospective rare earth mineralization in a structurally controlled setting.
The uranium mineralization at Bokan Mountain and the REE mineralization at Dotson Ridge were originated during separate mineralizing events, in separate structures and several kilometers apart. Bokan Mountain’s Ross Adams uranium mine is characterized by a variably plunging pipe-like concentration of veins and fractures mineralized primarily with uranium-bearing minerals, including uraninite and uranothorite. By contrast, Dotson Ridge is characterized by steeply dipping pegmatitic and aplitic dikes variably mineralized with REE minerals including kainosite, xenotime, allanite, bastnaesite, thalenite, synchisite, and fergusonite.
The separation of the overall area into two distinct projects, both under the control of Ucore, emphasizes the independent potential and the differing characteristics of each individual project. It also affords the option of isolating Bokan’s Ross Adams area into a highly prospective long term uranium project, while retaining Dotson Ridge as a primarily rare earth-focused enterprise. Ucore will be entertaining alternative development scenarios for each of these high quality projects in order to maximize shareholder value, while prioritizing the exploration of its rare earth holdings in the immediate term.
A recent announcement has indicated that Newmont Mining Corporation will be commencing near term reclamation activities at the former Ross Adams Uranium Mine, within Ucore’s Bokan Mountain project area. Newmont is a former operator of the Ross Adams high grade uranium mine, and is undertaking remediation of the site to satisfy U.S federal government baseline standards for uranium facility reclamation. The Newmont project is a proactive step toward restoring the mine to pre-established benchmarks, thereafter which a new mining enterprise can be applied for under federal regulations. The reclamation proceedings will substantially augment the project value of the Ross Adams site and are a positive development for any prospective developer. Ucore controls the claims comprising the Ross Adams uranium mine and will be in a position to apply for renewed development status after reclamation proceedings are complete. In the mean time, the Newmont reclamation program does not preclude continued active exploration of Ross Adams area by Ucore or the undertaking of proactive feasibility studies for a reactivated mine, the mineralization of which remains open at depth.
According to a 1989 US Bureau of Mines report (Warner and Barker, 1989, US Bureau of Mines Open File Report 33-89), the greater Bokan area contains an estimated 374M lbs of rare earth oxides including yttrium (non 43-101 compliant), a calculation which effectively delineates this as the largest combined heavy and light REE deposit in the United States and one of the most prospective heavy REE targets outside of the currently producing south China ionic clays.
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. The historical resource estimate does not use the resource categories stipulated in Sections 1.2 and 1.3 of National Instrument 43-101. Ucore believes that the terms “resource” and “resources” are used differently from the use of those terms in NI 43-101. Ucore does not have, and is not aware of, any more recent resource estimates which conform to the standards prescribed in NI 43-101. Ucore has not done the work necessary to verify the classification of the mineral resource estimate and it has not been verified by a Qualified Person. 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.
Ucore Uranium Inc. is a junior exploration company focused on establishing rare earth, uranium, and associated resources through exploration and property acquisition. With a portfolio of projects, Ucore’s primary focus is the Bokan Mountain rare earth element and uranium property in southeast Alaska.
For further information, please contact Mr. Jim McKenzie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ucore Uranium Inc. at: (902) 482-5214.