HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 13, 2012) - Ucore Rare Metals Inc (TSX VENTURE:UCU)(OTCQX:UURAF) ("Ucore" or "the Company") is pleased to announce the completion of separation studies on samples from the Bokan Mountain deposit on Prince of Wales Island in Alaska, USA. The studies, undertaken by IntelliMet LLC of Missoula, Montana, represent one of the final components required for the release of a comprehensive Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), due shortly.
A representative sample of Bokan Mountain mineralized material was used for bench-scale tests to determine the viability of the processing regime. Leaching tests of the rare earth rock products were followed by a purification process that was successful in removing impurities from the leach solutions prior to precipitation of a bulk mixed rare earth element concentrate.
The leaching process employed in the tests treats the mineralized rock with nitric acid, which generates a solution containing the rare earth elements. This leach solution contains not only the rare earth elements but also other elements present in the mineralized rock. An additional processing step prior to bulk precipitation of the rare earth elements (as oxides or oxalates from the leach solution) prevents the generation of an impure precipitate containing these unwanted elements.
Based on a unique process, typically described by scientists as "Solid Phase Separation", Ucore has now demonstrated on a bench scale that over 99% of detrimental contaminant elements can be removed from Bokan ore prior to the precipitation of a mixed rare earth element concentrate. The following table summarizes the results of the most recent separation studies:
||Bulk Solution Precipitate
||Purified Solution Precipitate
|Iron, % Fe2O3
|Thorium, % Th
|Uranium, % U
|Loss on Ignition, % LOI
**Note: The "Bulk Solution Precipitate" was characterized by a red color, due to the high concentration of iron in the material, while the "Purified Solution Precipitate" was characterized by a white color.
"Ucore has now added to the list of "firsts" associated with the Company", said Jim McKenzie, President & CEO of Ucore. "The Company was the first in the rare earth industry to successfully investigate DEXRT technology for ore sorting and waste rock removal; the first to propose a tailings-free facility at surface via state of the art Paste Backfill technologies; and the first to pursue Long Hole Stoping as a means of REE ore extraction, with a minimal prospective environmental surface footprint.
"Now, Ucore is the first to pursue Solid Phase Extraction, or SPE technology, as an effective means of REE purification and liberation, and as an efficient and economical alternative to traditional Solvent Exchange methodologies utilized in China and elsewhere. The SPE platform is being pioneered in America, under the supervision of Dr. Richard Hammen, former Director of the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at the NASA/Cal Tech Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and recent addition to the Ucore Advisory Board.
"Beyond all of this, the pioneering SPE technology has proven highly effective at removing impurities from Bokan concentrate, a watershed achievement that we have pursued at the expense of a minor delay in the release of our PEA. With the SPE results now in hand, their inclusion in the PEA makes the outlook for that document stronger than ever.
Mr. Edwin H. Bentzen III, Project Manager at Lyntek Inc., Lakewood, Colorado, has prepared the technical data relative to this press release and is the qualified person responsible for its accuracy.
Ucore Rare Metals Inc. is a well-funded development-phase mining company focused on establishing rare metal resources with near term production potential. 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 developing near term production facilities and limiting the capital costs associated with mine construction.
The Bokan property is particularly enriched with heavy rare earth elements, including the critical elements Dysprosium, Terbium and Yttrium. Approximately 40% (by weight) of the rare earth elements contained on the Dotson Ridge property are heavy rare earths elements, as disclosed in the Company's NI43-101 compliant resource estimate, released in March of 2011.