July 8, 2015 – HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSXV:UCU) (OTCQX:UURAF) (“Ucore” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has commissioned the construction of a pilot plant (“SuperLig®-One”, the “Plant”, or “test unit”) based on Molecular Recognition Technology (“MRT”). The purpose of the Plant will be to test the use of MRT for the separation of rare earth elements (“REE’s”) at bulk scale.
Ucore has contracted with IBC Advanced Technologies, Inc. of American Fork, Utah (“IBC”) for the design and construction of the Plant, targeting completion before the end of 2015. The test unit, with the project name “SuperLig®-One”, will be constructed at IBC. Once complete, the test unit will then be relocated to a third party facility for an independent review of pilot scale test procedures.
“We anticipate that the SuperLig®-One unit will be a high-value asset for Ucore,” said Jim McKenzie, President & CEO of Ucore. “The intention is for the unit to be a test mule, capable of accepting Pregnant Leach Solution (“PLS”) and bulk concentrates from multiple prospective REE feedstock locations around the world. Ucore confirms that it has entered into agreements with various REE feedstock providers, and will be securing test material from a variety of locations over the next 6 months as construction is under way. One high priority source of pilot scale test material will be the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Project in South East Alaska.”
The SuperLig®-One unit is currently undergoing design at IBC. The Plant will be both modular and portable in design, capable of transport to remote testing sites as required. Columnar units within the Plant will contain customized proprietary SuperLig® products that are designed to selectively separate the metal being targeted. To optimize utility, the Plant will be customizable over time, with capacity for treating varying ratios of metals in different PLS feed solutions.
The SuperLig® platform successfully separated the entire suite of REE’s to high purity at bench scale without the use of traditional costly and environmentally invasive solvent extraction techniques (see Ucore Press Release March 2, 2015). The SuperLig®-One unit will be designed to deploy this achievement at pilot scale, refining each of the lanthanides to uniformly high purity, from lanthanum (La) to lutetium (Lu), with the exception of Pm, plus yttrium (Y) and scandium (Sc).
In addition to SuperLig® products designed for REE separation, IBC has an extensive inventory of pre-existing SuperLig® products capable of selectively targeting a range of valuable metals, such as platinum group metals, gold, silver, uranium, bismuth, copper, cobalt, nickel, indium, and rhenium as well as a host of nuisance materials such as radionuclides, lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. In a press release dated March 3, 2015, Ucore announced an exclusive agreement with IBC for the use of SuperLig® technology for all metals in the tailings processing sector, as well as all processing applications related to REE’s.
The mid-term objective is to have the SuperLig®-One unit serve as a prototype for a full sized SuperLig® separation plant, to be located in North America. Such a full sized facility would be capable of receiving rare earth feedstock, in the form of mixed concentrates or PLS, from locations in the Americas and beyond.
Steven R. Izatt, President and CEO of IBC, has approved the scientific and technical content of this news release and is the Qualified Person responsible for its accuracy. Mr. Izatt, Registered Member SME, holds an M.S. in Chemical Engineering Practice and an M.S. in Technology and Policy, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).