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Ucore Rare Metals welcomes passing of rare earth resources bill

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World Coal,

Ucore Rare Metals, Inc. has welcomed the passing of a bill by the US Congress for including significant funding for further research and development of domestic rare earth resources in the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019.

The bill comprises US$727 million for Fossil Energy Research and Development, which includes the beneficiation and separation of rare earth element (REE) resources from coal processing by-products. A key aim of the bill is to create a significant prospective source of domestic REE for commercial-scale operations, thus reducing the dependency of US companies on China for rare earth element needs. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, and allies had championed the bill.

“Ucore is aggressively pursuing the development of technologies that will beneficiate existing, underutilised resources such as coal ash to produce high-value rare earth elements for US commercial use,” said Ucore President and CEO, Jim McKenzie. “We applaud the efforts of Senator McConnell in securing funding for these and other promising technologies.”

Ucore recently partnered with Kentucky River Properties LLC to develop a commercial-scale rare earths separation plant in eastern Kentucky near the Coal Fields Industrial Park.

“We’re developing our coal refinement capabilities in order to access the vast quantities of rare earth elements contained in the coal ash of Kentucky and West Virginia,” said Mike Schrider, COO of Ucore. “It is therefore extremely helpful for the government to recognise this potential and encourage further innovations and development in rare earth beneficiation and separation.”

The bill has been passed by both the House and the Senate and awaits signature by the White House.

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