- Rare earth supply chain innovator Ucore Rare Metals Inc. is working to strategically develop a North American-based supply chain for rare earth elements (“REEs”) that are vital to technologies ranging from smartphone to F-16 fighter jet parts
- China currently has a near-monopoly on REE refining and production, and international tech trade tensions in recent years have pushed Western nations to seek ways to revive their own REE industries
- Ucore has developed a proprietary RapidSX(TM) REE separation technology platform for refining rare earths, beginning with a strategic facility in development in Louisiana
- The company is celebrating announcement this month that it has completed the process for obtaining an 80 percent tax exemption for the next decade, pending the governor’s ratification of state and local authorities’ approvals
Ucore Rare Metals (TSX.V: UCU) (OTCQX: UURAF), a strategic metals supply chain-focused enterprise, is celebrating its advancing rare earth element (“REE”) project in Louisiana with the recent announcement that the company has received approvals from the Industrial Tax Exemption Program (“ITEP”) that will result in significant cost savings to Ucore.
Ucore has entered a multi-decade lease agreement with the administrators of the England Airpark in Alexandria, La., that will allow Ucore to build and operate a Strategic Metals Complex (“SMC”) where it will separate and produce REEs and oxides that are deemed critical to computer technology-based industries.
Currently, REE mining and refining are controlled by The People’s Republic of China to a degree that approaches a virtual monopoly. The European Union imports 98 percent of its REE supply from China and the United States gets 78 percent of its REE supply from China.
The industrial espionage and trade limit tensions of recent years between the United States and China have given rise to renewed efforts to maintain a Western hemisphere center to the supply chain for REE elements used in products ranging from cell phones to electric vehicles to F-35 fighter jets.
Ucore’s advancing SMC complex in Louisiana is central to the company’s plan to build that Western supply chain, starting with the refining of mined product.
“The overall State and local support we are receiving for the establishment of one of the first modern rare earth element processing facilities in North America has been an amazing experience, and we are diligently working to execute a Louisiana project that has the potential to significantly enhance the manufacturing landscape across North America as the world shifts to electrification,” Ucore Vice President and COO Mike Schrider stated in the company’s announcement about the tax exemption progress (https://ibn.fm/IzvFB).
According to the news release, the ITEP program offers up to a 10-year exemption to the company of 80 percent of the standard tax amount on a renewable five-year term, which may result in $8.2 million in projected tax savings for the company if the governor gives his final signature to the agreement.
Louisiana and the local parish have awarded the exemption based on Ucore’s commitment to create 100 family-wage paying jobs, its plans to make a capital investment of $75 million in the economy, and expectations that further statewide benefits for workers will be realized.
The company has been simultaneously engaged in establishing agreements for raw material supplies and supply off-take, as well as other financial arrangements.
The SMC complex will use Ucore’s proprietary RapidSX(TM) REE separation technology platform in a commercialization venture. RapidSX(TM) promises to improve on the industry standard for REE refining in terms of speed, environmental impact, and eventual cost factors. The company plans to produce 2,000 metric tons per year of total rare earth oxides (“TREOs”) by the beginning of 2025, growing to 5,000 tons by 2026 and 7,500 tons in 2027.
The company also owns an Alaskan rare earth mine prospect that it may eventually bring online to add to the limited American-based REE feedstock that currently exists.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.Ucore.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to UURAF are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/UURAF
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