Ucore Rare Metals Inc.
, Stock Forum
) received a boost Tuesday when the Alaska legislature approved legislation that should provide US$145 million in bond funding for the company’s Bokan-Dotson Ridge rare element project.
Senate Bill 99 authorizes the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority to issue bonds to fund the infrastructure and construction costs of the Bokan-Dodson Ridge.
“We are very pleased with the outstanding support that the Bokan Project has received from the Alaska State Legislature,’’ said Jim McKenzie, President and CEO of Ucore.
He said the bond financing will be subject to AIDEA’s internal due diligence and board approval, to be completed after the release of a feasibility study for the Bokan-Dotson Ridge project.
It (the feasibility study) will build on a preliminary economic assessment released by Ucore in 2013.
The project is located 60 kilometres southwest of Ketchikan, Alaska and 140 kilometres northwest of the British Columbia port of Prince Rupert.
The 2013 PEA says the Bokan project will be a 1,500 tonnes-per-day mining operation, producing saleable rare earth oxide concentrates.
Rare earths include rare earth elements and specialty metals produced primarily for technology applications, including magnets, hybrid vehicles, wind turbines and night vision goggles.
China, which supplies 97% of the world’s rare earths, is expected to gradually reduce rare earth exports in order to protect its own supplies, prompting a search for rare earths in other regions of the world, including North America.
The Bokan PEA study forsees a project capital cost of US$221 million, and an 11-year life span.
However, the company has said that the inferred resource of 5.2 million tonnes, are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.
Ucore shares rose 3% to 34 cents on Tuesday, leaving the company with a market cap of $67 million, based on 197.4 million shares outstanding. The 52-week range is 50 cents and 17.5 cents.