Ucore Sets 2020 Production Start Date for Ketchikan SMC
March 05, 2018
Ucore is currently entering its second phase of Alaska SMC due diligence, including: (1) specific site selection within the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, (2) design engineering, (3) construction costing (CAPEX), (4) finalization of input feedstocks from the short-list of competing alternatives, (5) operational costing (OPEX), and will reveal additional schedule highlights once confirmed.
“The decision to embark on the engineering design is a significant milestone for Ucore and Alaska; as together we accelerate to becoming a technology-based producer of individual, saleable, REE oxides in the worldwide market,” said Jim McKenzie, President and CEO of Ucore. “Our go-forward planning during H1 2018 includes the business plan, engineering, construction and operating schedules for the Alaska SMC. We’re pleased to share the highlights of this information with our shareholders and the residents of Ketchikan via a series of forthcoming press releases in the weeks and months ahead.”
“The residents of Ketchikan have expressed a great interest in our Alaska SMC project” said Mike Schrider. “We’re pleased to finally be in a position to reveal our initial schedule highlights as well as additional aspects of the design and planning process as they materialize in the immediate term.”
““We envision the Alaska SMC as the first component of the nearby Bokan Dotson Ridge rare earth element project’s surface complex,” said Randy McGillivray. “Ucore is in a position to construct a state-of-the-art rare earth separation facility that is neither energy-intensive nor a threat to air and water quality. We have the opportunity to permit and construct the first large scale REE separation facility using clean-green Molecular Recognition Technology (MRT), in an environmentally sustainable and safety conscious manner.”
Representatives of Ucore attended and actively participated in the recent US Forest Service Roundtable Discussion held on February 24, 2018, at the Ketchikan Public Library.
The one-day event, hosted and chaired by Senator Lisa Murkowski, was organized to solicit input from local stakeholders and to gain a greater understanding of the forest management challenges faced by communities in the Tongass National Forest , the nation’s largest national forest for the benefit of USFS Chief Tony Tooke.
Randy MacGillivray, Ucore’s VP of Project Development, represented the Company as a panel member in the Roundtable interactions. Also in attendance was Ucore Advisory Board member Randy Johnson, of Orca Holdings, LLC. The Ucore contingent participated in order to obtain ongoing stakeholder input and feedback, focusing on opportunities to improve access to the Tongass and build a diverse and broad-based economy in southeast Alaska, and in support of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s efforts to ensure sustainable access to and development of mineral resources in Southeast Alaska.
Ucore recently announced the selection of Ketchikan as the location for the Company’s forthcoming U.S. Strategic Metals Complex (SMC) in January 2018). The SMC is being developed for the purpose of processing rare earth containing concentrates to coincide with the increasing demand for electric vehicles and the need to provide a domestic supply of individual REE oxides for US commercial and military technologies. Feedstock from locations in the continental US, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia are under consideration. The Ketchikan SMC will also serve as the separation plant for REEs mined from the Bokan project into individual saleable rare earth oxides once the development of the mine project is realized.
“We’re committed to the continued pursuit of development required to advance the Bokan – Dotson Ridge Rare Earth Project on Prince of Wales Island”, said Randy MacGillivray. “We appreciate the invitation to participate in this important dialogue with the Chief of the Forest Service due to the fact that the USFS will be the lead agency during the permitting process to bring Bokan online. Further, our recent selection of Ketchikan as our targeted site for the Strategic Metals Separation Complex will serve as the first step to ensuring that saleable rare earth oxide products can ultimately be produced locally from rare earth ore concentrate.”
On March 31, 2014, Ucore announced the unanimous support and authorization of the Alaska State Legislature for the investment of up to USD $145 Million in the Bokan-Dotson Ridge rare earth element project at the discretion of the Alaska Import Development and Export Agency (“AIDEA”). Included in that investment proposal was an allocation for the design and construction of a REE separation facility. Ucore’s forthcoming engineering, business and construction plans for the Alaska SMC will be submitted to AIDEA under this authorization for consideration, due diligence, review and approval thereof.
The City and Borough of Ketchikan, with greater than 13,000 residents, is the southernmost population center in the State of Alaska, located on the protected and weather-temperate Inside Passage. The location is in proximity to a major container port and rail head at Prince Rupert, BC, 62 miles (100 km) to the Southeast, with the two locales connected by routing via the Alaska Marine Highway. Ketchikan features deep water port, barge-container facilities and direct access to markets in the United States and the Pacific Rim by way of ocean vessel, the lowest-cost mode of bulk transport. Ketchikan also offers a unique work force, ice-free harbors and is in close proximity to Ucore’s flagship in-situ development project, the Bokan Dotson-Ridge Rare Earth Project (“Bokan”) located on Prince of Wales Island.
The Bokan-Dotson Mountain is name for Robert "Red" Dotson of Ketchikan, Alaska. Dotson believed that riches lay beneath the surface of Alaska’s majestic terrain. Following his intuition to ground, in 1955 he and his wife Irene staked mining claims at Bokan Mountain.
In 2006, Ucore acquired and leased the Bokan property and found heavy rare earth elements (HREE) through large scale drilling. Since Ucore acquired rights to the Bokan property, it has continued its exploration program to further define and measure the resource. Robert Dotson did not live to see his dream fullfilled as he passed away on September 3, 2012.
Ucore Rare Metals Inc. is a development-phase mining company focused on establishing rare metals resources and beneficiation technologies with near term potential for production, growth and scalability. The Company has a 100% ownership stake in the 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.
Reporting and Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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