Ucore Reports 85-90% Recovery of Rare Earths in Bokan Metallurgical Testing
October 3, 2011 – Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSX-V: UCU; “Ucore” or the “Company”) is pleased to update ongoing metallurgical and beneficiation studies of rare earth samples from its flagship Bokan Mountain property in Southeast Alaska.
Phase 1 of the metallurgical test work has now been completed by Hazen Research, Inc. of Golden, Colorado (“Hazen”). Chemical extraction studies were conducted on a composite of 79 samples of split core from the Bokan Mountain deposit (the “Composite Sample”). The samples provided by Ucore were sent to Hazen in September of 2010 and were representative of material collected from the current drill program on the Dotson Shear Zone. The light rare earth (“LREE”), heavy rare earth (“HREE”), and total rare earth (“TREE”) contents of the Composite Sample are summarized in Table 1 below:
Table 1. Summary of Composite Sample
|Analyte Elements||Analysis, wt%|
|HREE + Y||0.48|
|TREE + Y||1.19|
Hazen was able to extract 85–90% of the REE+Y content of the sample, using laboratory procedures similar to those reported by G.K. Green and D.D. Harbuck of the U.S. Bureau of Mines (Yttrium Recovery from Bokan Mountain, Alaska, Minerals and Mineral Processing, February 1995). The procedures included size reduction of the Composite Sample, followed by a sulfuric acid-bake and water leaching of the baked sample. Table 2 summarizes results of two of the Hazen experiments.
Table 2. Summary of Sulfuric Acid Bake-Leaching Experiments
|Item||Hazen Test No.|
|Grind size (Note 1)||17||130|
|Acid addition (Note 2)||745||485|
|Acid consumption (Note 3)||560||350|
Note 1: Size, in microns, of the screen through which 80% of the sample would pass.
Note 2: kg of acid added per tonne of sample
Note 3: kg of acid consumed per tonne of sample
Extractions ranged up to 90% for REE+Y. Increasing the acid addition to the levels used by Green & Harbuck (over 1,000 kg/t) did not significantly increase the extraction percentages when using the large particle size of 130 µm.
The Green and Harbuck (“G&H”) studies tracked only Y, Ce and La. By contrast, the current Hazen studies have been expanded to track a total of 31 elements. Additionally, the relevant results from original G&H studies reported extraction percentages ranging from 52% to 76% of the Y. By comparison, the current Hazen studies demonstrated extractions of Y from 81% to 84% of the Y from the Composite Sample.
“We’re extremely pleased with the results of this initial stage of testing completed by Hazen Research, Inc.” said Jim McKenzie, President & CEO of Ucore. “Phase I testing has gone well beyond the already promising work of Green and Harbuck, improving upon recovery percentages and reducing acid reagent consumption. This is a significant milestone towards establishing a process flow sheet, which we intend to deliver before the close of 2011.”
As a component of Phase II metallurgical work (Q4/2011), Hazen will be conducting additional testing to further optimize the already effective metallurgical procedures set out during Phase I. As a component of Phase II, the acid bake process will be further refined, with a goal of improving upon all variables, including heating requirements, reagent consumption and grind size. Additionally, Phase I metallurgical work was completed on a whole-ore sample, without prior physical concentrating. During Phase II, physical pre-concentration techniques such as ore-sorting, gravity separation and flotation will be applied to Bokan samples. The pre-concentration of ore can be an effective means of reducing processing costs, inasmuch as physical techniques can materially decrease gross weight while increasing the head grade of ore submitted to a metallurgical processing circuit.
All chemical analyses were conducted by Activation Laboratories Ltd. (Actlabs) in Ontario, Canada. Actlabs analytical methods and procedures included using a lithium metaborate–tetraborate fusion with subsequent analysis by inductively coupled plasma (ICP) spectroscopy for major elements and inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy–mass spectrometry (ICP–MS) for trace elements. Niobium and zirconium were separately analyzed by x-ray fluorescence (XRF) after fusion with lithium metaborate–tetraborate in a platinum crucible at Actlabs.
David R. Baughman of Hazen Research Inc. is the Qualified Person with respect to this press release and has approved the disclosure of the technical information contained herein.
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.
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.