Ucore Selects Ketchikan as Site for Strategic Metals Complex
Ucore also considered other domestic locations, including sites in the south-eastern, south-central, and western United States. Selection criteria included logistical considerations such as ease of access to international shipping corridors, industrial infrastructure, permitting considerations, and potential for local incentives and state funding programs.
Additional engineering and product specification criteria are being initiated targeting processing of REE byproducts and primary concentrates from non-Chinese sources worldwide. Feedstock from locations in the continental United States, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia are under consideration.
The Ketchikan plant also may serve as the separation plant for REEs mined at Bokan-Dotson Ridge into individual saleable rare earth oxides. Ucore also envisions one or two additional strategic metals complexes located within the United States to provide a domestic supply of rare earths oxides and other critical metals required to support North American manufacturing and security.
Ketchikan is located on the protected and weather-temperate Inside Passage and is the southernmost population center in Alaska. It features a deep-water port, barge-container facilities, and direct ocean access to markets in the United States and the Pacific Rim. The location is also in proximity to a major container port and rail head at Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
The announcement of Ucore’s plans for location of its strategic metals complex in Ketchikan was made by Michael Schrider, the company’s vice president of operations and engineering at the time of the announcement. Subsequent to the announcement, Schrider was promoted to the position of Ucore chief operating officer.