Ucore Comments on US Government Fair Trade Initiatives to Escalate US REE Prices

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, July 17, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ucore Rare Metals, Inc. (TSXV:UCU) (OTCQX:UURAF) (“Ucore” or the “Company”) is pleased to comment on recent initiatives by the Trump Administration to bolster United States  rare earth  element (REE) supply-chains.

The U.S. Trade Representative last week provided notice of an initial action under Section 301(b) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2411b) (“Section 301”) to levy a 10% incremental tariff on all REE and associated alloys purchased by the US from China. The list of targeted items specifically identifies all REE, as well as yttrium and scandium, whether or not intermixed or interalloyed.

These materials, specifically designated as “Critical Minerals” by the US government, are widely used in U.S. manufacturing applications, ranging from hybrid vehicles to electronic devices and military hardware. The Trump administration’s aim is to establish or re-establish a US advantage in global manufacturing and to ensure national security.

“The Section 301 tariffs are a welcome and overdue action by the US government.  We’re optimistic that this positive move will trigger a re-baselining of more globally appropriate and realistic pricing for rare earths and other minerals in the US critical metals sector,” said Jim McKenzie, President & CEO of Ucore. “For decades, China has subsidized REE production in an effort to undervalue manufacturing input materials, artificially suppressing prices in order to incentivize downstream production in China, thereby maximizing American dependence on China as the primary source of rare earths. This has cost the U.S. jobs, innovation, and national security.”

“The White House is dictating the timing of this inevitable market correction, rather than letting China maintain an artificial competitive advantage,” continued McKenzie. “The Trump Administration understands that ending rare earth market manipulation, by forcing more realistic REE pricing, will escalate a revival in American REE manufacturing while restoring market balance. The tariff program is a very bullish indicator for Ucore as we execute plans to build a self-sustaining REE manufacturing Strategic Metals Complex (SMC) in Alaska, and with sizeable prospective sources of feedstock in both Alaska and Kentucky.”

“The Ucore SMC, currently undergoing engineering design for construction in Ketchikan, Alaska, is a remarkable solution to the US REE supply problem,” commented Mike Schrider, COO of Ucore. “The recent directives from Washington, fostering a reliable and cost-competitive REE supply chain on US soil, speaks volumes to the need for a secure, safe, and environmentally sound domestic rare earth supply.” 

The mandate of the Section 301 Committee includes an investigation of the acts, policies, and practices of the Government of China with respect to a list of critical trade items currently imported to the US from China. An excerpt of these items is excerpted below:

2805.30.00 – Rare-earth metals, scandium and yttrium whether or not intermixed or interalloyed.

2846.10.00 – Cerium compounds.

2846.90.20 – Mixtures of rare earth oxides or of rare earth chlorides.

2846.90.40 – Yttrium materials and compounds.

2846.90.80 – Compounds, inorganic or organic of rare earth metals, of yttrium, or of scandium, or of mixtures of these metals, nesoi (not elsewhere specified or included).

During the last week of June, Ucore Senior Management met with multiple U.S. senior government officials in the executive and legislative branches to discuss Ucore’s internal strategies to address a potential American rare earth supply crisis (see Ucore Press Release dated July 3, 2018).  The Ucore team elaborated on its adaptation of molecular recognition technology (MRT) to the rare earth sector, the support of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) for the construction of domestic REE processing infrastructure, and the identification of available non-Chinese feedstock supplies, including from within the United States.

In December of last year, President Trump signed an Executive Order to reduce the country’s dependence on external supplies of critical minerals — including rare-earths, cobalt and lithium. That E.O. aims to reduce U.S. vulnerability to supply disruptions by identifying new sources, and streamlining regulations to “expedite production, reprocessing and recycling of minerals,” according to a White House statement.

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 domestic and non-Chinese international locations.

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

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.