- Strategic metals supply chain innovator Ucore Rare Metals Inc. has developed a proprietary technology it expects to improve rare earth element (“REE”) processing, and is preparing for commercial use of its solution
- The REE supply chain has become a matter of concern to Western governments as well as private industry because of the tremendous market dominance enjoyed by the People’s Republic of China and fears China will exploit that dominance with increasing export restrictions
- Ucore is currently demonstrating the ability of its RapidSX(TM) REE processing solution to match and / or exceed the capacity of industry-standard CSX processing technology while improving on its costs and ease of use
- The company has acquired property in Louisiana it intends to develop during the next year into a commercial-use REE processing center, using American REE feedstock
China’s recently announced controls on reporting exports of rare earth metallic elements (“REEs”) used strategically for permanent magnets in computerized products is the latest salvo in the ongoing trade war between the large Asian nation and the United States, prompting further emphasis on the need for Western independence from China-based supply chains.
Strategic metals enterprise Ucore Rare Metals (TSX.V: UCU) (OTCQX: UURAF) is a company operating in Canada and the United States to improve the production of REEs in the Americas and reduce dependence on supply chains that flow through China.
Since China began taking advantage of inexpensive labor to affect the price of REE supply decades ago, U.S. production of REEs has dwindled to the point that only one REE mine is operating in the United States, and it sends its ore to China for processing that separates the desired elements from their host ore.
China controls 60 percent of mined REE resources in the global market, 87 percent of the mid-stream processing and 90 percent-plus of the downstream product creation, according to Ucore CEO Pat Ryan (https://ibn.fm/1zGaG).
The controls announced earlier this month require Chinese REE exporters to report their shipment orders to the government beginning Dec. 1 and continuing through October 2025. Although no restrictions accompany the reporting requirement, the policy is regarded as a reaction to U.S. restrictions on exports of high-end semiconductors and a potential precursor to limits on international REE trade (https://ibn.fm/W71I3).
Such a possibility was further underscored by China’s decision in late November to require exporters of its high-grade graphite — another mineral strategically critical to the manufacture of computerized products and clean energy resources — to apply for government approval, allowing authorities to pick and choose which companies will be able to import Chinese graphite if it chooses, according to a Washington Post report (https://ibn.fm/oyQIO).
Ucore’s proprietary RapidSX(TM) REE processing solution is the key to its strategy to promote Western supply chain independence from Chinese controls. The company has been using RapidSX(TM) to process REEs in head-to-head testing at a Canadian facility against the standard CSX separation technology used globally throughout the industry, and Ucore is preparing to launch construction of a facility in the United States that will use RapidSX(TM) for commercial REE processing.
The U.S. and Canada national governments have both announced they will provide millions of dollars in funding to help Ucore achieve its goals, given REEs’ strategic importance to national clean energy policies and the products used in national defense infrastructure.
The reporting requirements for graphite exports are “a warning shot for sure,” Emily Benson, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies focusing on trade and technology, told the Washington Post for its report. “Will they really bite? Probably not, but it’s a sign that the more tools you use to combat China economically, the greater the risk of retaliation.”
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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