The feedstock has been shipped from SGS Canada's facilities in Lakefield, Ontario, to Innovation Metals' (IMC) plant for separation using the latter's RapidSX technology, which will produce a purified REE concentrate that can be transformed into high-purity REE oxides (REO).
"We are very excited to have IMC initiate the production of high-purity REOs from concentrates that will be produced from our Bokan HREE-rich feed material with the RapidSX technology," said Ucore chairman and interim chief executive, Pat Ryan.
Ucore said that IMC will focus on separating the highest-value REEs from the Bokan feed, specifically, terbium (Tb), dysprosium (Dy), in addition to neodymium (Nd) and praseodymium (Pr).
Ucore aims to process its own feedstock by 2023 - Ryan said Ucore is advancing development plans for an Alaska Strategic Metals Complex, or Alaska SMC, in Ketchikan, Alaska.
The Alaska SMC is expected to be commissioned and in operation within three years (by Q4 2023), with estimated capital costs of less than US$35 million. The Alaska SMC will be designed to initially process Tb, Dy, Pr, and Nd from US-allied-sourced HREE and LREE feedstocks and, ultimately, HREE feedstock from the Bokan project.