AK Governor Nominates Ucore's Bokan as a High Priority Infrastructure Project
September 02, 2019
(SitNews) - According to Ucore, Alaska Governor Michael J. Dunleavy submitted a nomination letter to the White House Council of Environmental Quality recommending that the Chairman of the CEQ designate the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Rare Earth Project ("Bokan") as a High Priority Infrastructure Project ("HPIP").
The HPIP program was instituted by the Trump Administration in 2017 as a means of expediting the permitting approval process for projects of key strategic importance to the United States (see HPIP Background, below). An HPIP designation will facilitate an abbreviated permitting turnaround timeline for Bokan, as the Company prepares for a near term Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) review, and transitions the project to a 'shovel-ready' development state.
In his nomination letter Governor Dunleavy stated the Bokan - Dotson Ridge Project is in the unique situation of having a domestic rare earth metal project located on the shores of Kendrick Bay, Prince of Wales Island, in Southeast Alaska. The project developer, Ucore Rare Metals, has invested significant financial resources since 2007 toward the definition of the deposit, engineering for mine and processing plans, in addition to funding research and development toward a clean, green, separation technology for this critical mineral resource."
An ongoing concern is America's dependency on a non-allied, foreign-sourced metals supply chain to support national defense, green energy initiative, and high-tech product manufacturing.
"The support from Governor Dunleavy and his staff underscores the importance of immediately developing a domestic rare earth element natural resource project and separation plant," stated Jim McKenzie, President & CEO of Ucore. "This nomination could not come at a better time considering our strategic planning related to the development of the Bokan mine and its Alaska SMC separation plant to contribute to the forthcoming and necessary re-establishment of a U.S. rare earth supply chain, independent of China. Our sincere thanks to Governor Dunleavy for spearheading this important initiative."
"A High Priority Infrastructure Project designation will greatly assist in our planned permitting related activities for the Bokan project," explained Mike Schrider, COO of Ucore. "An HPIP designation would shave significant lead time off of the development of a fully permitted project, prospectively delivering us to construction commencement in just over two years. Our fundamental objective is to establish the Bokan - Dotson Ridge resource as a shovel-ready critical mineral reserve for the rapidly expanding domestic technology and defense industry sectors that are dependent on rare earth metals."
"The Bokan-Dotson Ridge REE site is an excellent resource to support U.S. REE supply chain needs," said Jeff Green, president of J.A. Green & Company, a Washington DC based government relations firm with specialized knowledge of defense contracting. "With its unique mineralization, especially for the heavy rare earths, it has high potential value in any effort to rebuild a domestic REE supply chain to meet both commercial and military requirements."
On January 24, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals For High Priority Infrastructure Projects. All Federal departments and agencies expected to be involved with the permitting of the Bokan project are members of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council ("FPISC"). The FPISC is a new entity tasked with improving timeliness, predictability, and transparency of the Federal environmental review and authorization process for covered infrastructure projects. The FPISC is composed of agency Deputy Secretary-level members and chaired by an Executive Director appointed by the President.
Ucore Rare Metals is a development-phase company focused on rare and critical metal resources, extraction and beneficiation technologies with near term potential for production, growth and scalability. The Company has a 100% ownership stake in the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Rare Earth Project. On March 31, 2014, Ucore announced the unanimous support of the Alaska State Legislature for Senate Bill 99 (2014), which authorized the AIDEA to issue up to USD $145 Million in bonds for the infrastructure and construction costs of the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Rare Earth Project.
Ucore's vision and plan is to transition to become a leading advanced technology company that provides mineral separation products and services to the mining and mineral extraction industry. This vision includes the development of the Company's rare earth minerals property located at Bokan Mountain in Alaska (an NI-43-101 technical report was filed on SEDAR on March 14, 2013) and its Alaska SMC individual rare earth element processing & separation plant.
On the Web:
08/09/19 - Governor Dunleavy's letter to the Council on Environmental Quality (pdf)
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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