Ucore Releases 2011 Mine Scoping and Resource Development Plan
May 10, 2011 – Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSX-V:UCU, OTCQX:UURAF; “Ucore” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the 2011 exploration and development agenda for the Bokan-Dotson Ridge rare earth element (REE) project in Southeast Alaska (“Bokan”). The comprehensive program continues under the management of Ucore’s wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary Rare Earth One, LLC. The 2011 operations will focus on characterizing the area’s heavy REE-rich mineralization while aggressively expanding project scope and advancing operations toward producing mine status as quickly as possible.
The 2011 agenda relies in part on the recommendations of a recently completed independently NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate for the area (see Ucore press release: March 7, 2011), as well as a comprehensive new 3-D model of the area’s REE mineralization, now available on the Company’s website (see: www.ucore.com).
The 2011 program has an overall objective of significantly enlarging the size of the existing Inferred Resource by drilling at greater depth, in addition to upgrading the previously released Inferred Resource to an Indicated classification via infill drilling. Ucore’s management has approved an expenditure of US$8 million for the overall 2011 field program, comprising 12,000 linear metres of new drilling.
“This is the most ambitious exploration and development program undertaken by Ucore to date at Bokan,” said Jim McKenzie, President and CEO of Ucore. “Our highest priority is on the advancement of a prospective mine as quickly as possible. This means targeting more than three times the amount of drilling that we’ve undertaken in prior years, more sub surface work via a proposed adit, and the acceleration of metallurgical work to generate effective ore separation and processing regimes. Our overall objective is to take the project to bankable feasibility within 24 months; an aggressive but very achievable target, given Bokan’s remarkable advantages of superior access, prior workings, and prior successful metallurgical findings already on hand.”
Ucore has retained Aurora Geosciences Alaska Ltd. of Juneau, Alaska, to oversee field operations and diamond drilling. The Company has retained the services of Collison Minecon Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia for the purpose of early stage mine scoping and engineering work. Kent and Sullivan Inc. of Anchorage, Alaska and Amerikanuak Inc. of Juneau, Alaska, have been mutually engaged to initiate the collection of baseline environmental data required for the permitting of prospective mining operations, and to advise on federal and state level permitting issues on a go forward basis. Melis Engineering Ltd. of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, has been retained to supervise bench and bulk scale metallurgical work, in cooperation with Hazen Research Inc. of Golden, Colorado. The mine engineering, environmental assessment and metallurgical work are anticipated to contribute to an NI 43-101 compliant Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”), scheduled for completion in 2011.
An area of focus in 2011 will be the advanced mineralogical and metallurgical study of Bokan mineralization. Analysis pertaining to the efficient separation and extraction of target rare earth minerals is now in progress, with the aim of developing an efficient and cost effective metallurgical processing flowsheet. Bench scale test work is currently under way at Hazen Research (see Ucore press release: October 22, 2010), and a larger scale (60 ton) bulk sample from the Dotson Zone will be obtained and processed for analysis during the 2011 season.
In order to advance project development into the sub surface, permitting to access the Dotson Zone via an exploration adit has now been initiated. The adit will provide all season drill access and improved locations for collaring holes intended to extend the deposit at depth. The adit will also be used to access bulk sample material for testing. Early stage work required to fulfill the environmental regulatory requirements of a proposed mine operation is already in progress.
Recently recovered historical drill cores from the Bokan complex are now being readied for analysis (see Ucore press release: April 5, 2011). Select core has been logged by geological and radiometric methods, and will be sent for chemical assay, with results anticipated during the 2011 exploration and development season.
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 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. The property is 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 peralkaline granitic complex. The Bokan – Dotson Ridge project is the only rare earth project currently documented worldwide which is situated on immediate deep water access, considered a significant advantage in expediting mine production and limiting the capital costs associated with mine construction.
In 1989, a U.S. Bureau of Mines study (Warner & Barker, USBM OFR 33-89) provided estimates of resources located at multiple largely unexplored zones of the greater Bokan area, which remains highly prospective for ongoing exploration.
In 1996, a U.S. Bureau of Mines study (Green & Harbuck) concluded that: “The Bokan Mountain area on Prince of Wales Island, AK, contains vast quantities of heavy rare earth minerals.” The report went on to postulate that the liberation of yttrium, considered a proxy for the prospective liberation of all HREE’s, is highly amenable to metallurgical cracking methodologies.
A recent Ucore press release (see Ucore press release: November 15, 2010) noted that the Dotson vein system has a high potential for an efficient mining and milling operation with rather limited environmental impact.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Ucore Rare Metals Inc.
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 Ucore expects, are forward-looking statements. Although Ucore 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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