Ucore Partner Acquires REE Industrial Building Complex in Eastern Kentucky

4/9/2018, 6:25 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, April 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ucore Rare Metals, Inc. (TSXV:UCU) (OTCQX:UURAF) (“Ucore” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that its pending joint venture (“JV” or “Joint Venture”) partner, Kentucky River Properties LLC of Hazard, Kentucky, (“KRP”), has purchased an industrial facility in Eastern Kentucky for the purposes of accessing and processing rare earth elements (“REE”) and strategic metals from the Appalachian Coal Basin (“ACB”).

KRP has completed the purchase of the Trus Joist Industrial Facility (“Trus Joist”, “Trus Joist Facility” or the “Facility”), an extensive industrial complex located adjacent to the Coal Fields Industrial Park, Perry County, Kentucky.  The Facility has been acquired as the proposed site of a high-volume REE and strategic metals refinery and production plant (the “Strategic Metals Complex” or “SMC”), contemplated under the terms of a memorandum of understanding between KRP and Ucore, dated March 7, 2018. For more information on the JV and SMC, please see Ucore Press Release: http://ucore.com/ucore-enters-us-coal-region-strategic-metals-jv-with-kentucky-river-properties-llc

The Trus Joist Facility contains significant industrial infrastructure, comprising a 250,000 square foot primary building, as well as concrete foundations capable of expansion to in excess of 1,000,000 square feet of contiguous indoor production space. The overall Facility includes approximately 90 acres of land and infrastructure, approximately 30 acres of which is open-air storage space capable of accommodating several hundred thousand tons of ore and processing feedstock. Trus Joist, previously known as the Weyerhaeuser Trus Joist complex, commenced operations in 1999. With an appraised construction cost of USD $125M, the Facility has served as an active high-volume production plant, capable of producing 60 million lineal feet of engineered wood products per annum. KRP prospectively intends to repurpose the Facility as a strategic metals refinery accessing REE and other valuable metals from the adjacent coal fields.

For more information on the Trus Joist Plant Layout & Schematic, please see: http://ucore.com/TrusJoist.pdf  

The Coal Fields Industrial Park (“CFIP”) is central to the region’s coal fields, and proximal to multiple producing and prior-producing coal mines in the Appalachian Coal Basin. CFIP is a full-service industrial park, with industrial level electricity, municipal water and sanitary sewer service. The park is located in close proximity to the Wendell H. Ford Regional Airport, rail head, and major thoroughfares including the Hal Rogers Parkway and Kentucky Highway 15. CFIP is managed by the Coal Fields Industrial Authority Board, a 9-County Board assisted by regional private businesses and local Chambers of Commerce. For more information on the Coal Fields Industrial Park and the Wendell H. Ford Regional Airport, please see: http://ucore.com/CoalFields.pdf | http://ucore.com/WendellFordAirport.pdf

“This is a significant acquisition in Eastern Kentucky and shows a serious commitment on the part of KRP as we work to develop a Joint Venture,” said Jim McKenzie, President & CEO of Ucore. “Its also a material leap in terms of the infrastructure required to construct a state of the art metals refinery in the region, with immediate access the metals resources in the Appalachian Coal Basin. Trus Joist is an impressive facility, ideal for the housing of a major production plant, located adjacent to an established industrial park. The Facility is also highly accessible to a substantial skilled workforce in surrounding counties. We’re pleased to be locating in Eastern Kentucky and look forward to advancing our project in a community with such substantial history of industrial success.”

“The CFIP is well equipped to provide the necessary utilities to ensure protection of the environment without any additional expansion to the existing water treatment and electrical services required”, said Mike Schrider, COO of Ucore.  “The facility is in close proximity to rail line, highways, a regional airport and inland river port, all major advantages to fast and efficient shipping of inbound feedstock and outbound value-added product.  We look forward to engaging with local and state agencies to develop this facility and to tap into the existing workforce to support our planned activities”.

The proposed Kentucky stragetic metals complex (“SMC”) is the second proposed separation facility identified by Ucore Rare Metals in recent weeks, and is a complement to the Alaska SMC to be located at Ketchikan, South East AK (see Ucore Press Release dated March 5, 2018 http://ucore.com/ucore-sets-2020-production-start-date-for-alaska-smc). The two facilities highlight the significance of the potential for critical metal resources targeted from both international feedstocks where a major marine terminal is beneficial to the economics, and domestic by-product feedstocks, such as coal, and the necessity to be located in close proximity to these existing operations. 

About Kentucky River Properties LLC

Kentucky River Properties owns significant coal bearing properties in the Central Appalachian and Illinois Coal Basins in the United States. Formed in 1915, the company was created by a merger of multiple early coal and land holding companies (Haley Coal Company, Slemp Coal Company, Henry Coal & Coke Company, Letcher Coal & Coke Company, and Kentucky River Consolidated Coal Company, among others). During a century of resource acquisitions and development, KRP has amassed coal-bearing land holdings of approximately 272,000 acres in the Central Appalachians alone, comprising dozens of active and former producing coal mines in that region. More recent acquisitions in Western Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana, have added approximately 95,000 mineral-bearing acres to the KRP land portfolio, in addition to more than 400 million tons of recoverable coal. For more information on KRP, please visit: www.krpky.com

About Ucore

Ucore Rare Metals is a development-phase company focused on rare metals resources, extraction and beneficiation technologies. The Company has a 100% ownership stake in the Bokan project in South East Alaska. On March 31, 2014, Ucore announced the unanimous support of the Alaska State Legislature for the investment of up to USD $145 Million in the Bokan project at the discretion of the Alaska Import Development and Export Agency (“AIDEA”). On January 30, 2018, the Company announced the selection of a location for a Strategic Metals Complex in Ketchikan, AK, a site which features an industrial base, deep water port, and proximity to the Bokan HREE project. The Alaska based SMC will be utilized for the processing of REE feedstock originating from international locations and will share technology platforms and protocols wherever possible with the proposed Kentucky SMC contemplated herein.

For further information, please contact Mr. Randy MacGillivray, V.P. Project Development of Ucore Rare Metals Inc. at: (604) 842-9802 or visit www.ucore.com

About REE in the US Coal Region

The US Coal Region has been a primary driver of the US economy for more than a century. The National Energy Technology Lab is actively pursuing the means to convert this enormous existing infrastructure into a domestic rare earth production sector. “Coal and coal by-products represents a vast untouched resource,” said NETL Research Engineer Dr. Evan Granite. The United States consumes around 16–17 thousand tons of rare earths each year, and this demand could be completely satisfied by extracting rare earths from domestic coal and coal by-products.




Recent studies have indicated significant REE concentrations in samples originating from within the Illinois, Northern Appalachian, Central Appalachian and Rocky Mountain Coal Basins, as well as the Pennsylvania Anthracite region.


Cautionary Notes

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, research and development timelines, 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 or setbacks, research and develop successes or setbacks, continued availability of financing, and general economic, market or business conditions.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined by the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

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