Halifax, Nova Scotia--(Newsfile Corp. - October 7, 2020) - Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSXV: UCU) (OTCQX: UURAF) ("Ucore" or the "Company") today announces that the Investment Agreement announced on Oktober 10, 2019 between Ucore's wholly owned subsidiary, Innovation Metals Corp. ('IMC"), and Hexagon Energy Materials Limited ("Hexagon") has been terminated.
The Investment Agreement provided Hexagon with a 12-month option ("Option") to acquire 49% of American Innovation Metals LLC, a prospective joint-venture company that on exercise of the Option, would have had the exclusive rights to commercialize IMC's RapidSX™ technology for rare-earth elements ("REEs") separation. The Investment Agreement required Hexagon to make an initial payment to IMC of US$2 million ("Initial Funds") on or before October 10, 2020, plus an additional US$4 million in deferred consideration. As Hexagon was not able to secure an investor to provide the Initial Funds to enable Hexagon to exercise the Option, Hexagon provided notice to IMC that it had withdrawn from the Investment Agreement on October 6, 2020.
In recent months, as travel restrictions hampered travel to and from Australia, the uncertainty regarding Hexagon's ability to exercise the option, per the terms of the Investment Agreement, became challenging for IMC and, ultimately, Ucore. With the Investment Agreement now terminated, IMC can proceed with the commercialization of RapidSX and both IMC and Ucore can now advance with various end-user candidates and counterparties with clarity, conviction and certainty.
IMC's proprietary RapidSX technology is in the process of being developed for commercialization for the cost-effective bulk separation and purification of REEs - including both heavy REE ("HREEs") and light REEs ("LREEs") - for the production of REE oxides ("REOs"), in addition to other critical metals, such as lithium ("Li"), nickel ("Ni"), and cobalt ("Co") for lithium-ion ("Li-ion") battery materials.
A copy of the Investment Agreement between IMC and Hexagon was filed on SEDAR by Ucore on June 9, 2020. Ucore wishes Hexagon well with its future endeavors.
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About Ucore Rare Metals Inc.
Ucore is focused on rare and critical metals resources, extraction and beneficiation technologies with potential for production, growth, and scalability. The Company has a 100% ownership stake in the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Rare Earth Project. Ucore's vision and plan is to transition to become a leading advanced technology company that provides mineral separation products and services to the mining and mineral extraction industry. This vision includes the development of the Alaska SMC in Southeast Alaska and the development of the Company's rare earth minerals property located at Bokan Mountain in Alaska.
Ucore is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the trading symbol "UCU" and in the United States on the OTC Markets' OTCQX® Best Market under the ticker symbol "UURAF". For further information, please visit www.ucore.com.
About Innovation Metals Corp.
IMC has developed the proprietary RapidSX™ process, for the low-cost separation and purification of REEs, Ni, Co, Li and other technology metals, via an accelerated form of solvent extraction. IMC is commercializing this approach for a number of metals, to help enable mining and metal-recycling companies to compete in today's global marketplace. IMC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ucore Rare Metals Inc.
For more information, please www.innovationmetals.com.
About the RapidSX™ Technology
IMC developed the RapidSX separation technology with the assistance of US$1.8 million in funding from the United States Department of Defense ("US DoD"), resulting in the production of commercial-grade, separated REOs at the pilot scale. RapidSX combines the time-proven chemistry of conventional solvent extraction ("SX") with a new column-based platform, which significantly reduces time to completion and plant footprint, as well as potentially lowering capital and operating costs. SX is the international REE industry's standard commercial separation technology and is currently used by 100% of all REE producers worldwide for bulk commercial separation of both HREEs and LREEs. Utilizing the same chemistry as conventional SX, RapidSX is not a "new" technology, but represents a significant improvement on the well-established, well-understood, proven conventional SX separation technology preferred by REE producers.
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 business development, technological development and/or acquisition activities (including any related required financings), timelines, litigation outcomes, 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 or results and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements. In regard to the disclosure in the "About Ucore Rare Metals Inc." section above, the Company has assumed that it will be able to procure or retain additional partners and/or suppliers, in addition to IMC, as suppliers for Ucore's expected future Alaska Strategic Metals Complex ("Alaska SMC"). Ucore has also assumed that sufficient external funding will be found to prepare a new National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") technical report that demonstrates that the Bokan Mountain Rare Earth Elements project ("Bokan") is feasible and economically viable for the production of both REE and co-product mineral materials and metals and the then prevailing market prices based upon assumed customer off-take agreements. Ucore has also assumed that sufficient external funding will be secured to develop the specific engineering plans for the Alaska SMC and its construction. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include, without limitation: IMC failing to protect its intellectual property rights in RapidSX™; RapidSX failing to demonstrate commercial viability in large commercial-scale applications; Ucore not being able to procure additional key partners or suppliers for the Alaska SMC; Ucore not being able to raise sufficient funds to fund the specific design and construction of the Alaska SMC and/or the continued development of RapidSX; adverse capital-market conditions; unexpected due-diligence findings; unexpected or adverse outcomes in the currently outstanding litigation matters between Ucore and IBC Advanced Technologies, Inc.; the emergence of alternative superior metallurgy and metal-separation technologies; the inability of Ucore and/or IMC to retain its key staff members; a change in the legislation in Alaska and/or in the support expressed by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority ("AIDEA") regarding the development of Bokan and/or the Alaska SMC; the availability and procurement of any required interim and/or long-term financing that may be required; and general economic, market or business conditions.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange ("TSXV") nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined by the TSXV) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Vice President, Investor Relations
Ucore Rare Metals Inc.
+1 902 482 5214