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Ucore Again Fails to Contest Independent Expert Findings on Alaska's Bokan Rare Earth Mine

AMERICAN FORK, Utah, Sept. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On August 30, 2019, Ucore Rare Earth Metals, Inc. ("Ucore") filed a Notice of Action and Statement of Claim ("NOA") against IBC Advanced Technologies, Inc., et al., ("IBC") in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.  The NOA asserts that IBC has defamed Ucore by making statements in several of IBC's recent press releases concerning the veracity of recent public announcements made by Ucore itself.  Ucore does not clearly identify which particular statements it challenges (except, perhaps, by underlining portions of the allegedly defamatory statements).  Instead, Ucore makes the blanket assertion that IBC's factual statements were "false and misleading."

Other than this, and similar unsupported blanket denials that Ucore has asserted, Ucore has offered no substantive information, either in the NOA or otherwise, that specifically refutes IBC's publicly justified statements.  For example:

  • Ucore has failed to respond in any way to the analysis of independent expert Dr. David R. Hammond (Hammond International Group) who conducted a study of Ucore's Bokan Mountain rare earth element ("REE") deposit in Alaska ("Bokan Mine") that is the centerpiece of Ucore's promotion of itself as a rare earth metals producer. Dr. Hammond concluded, among other things, that the Bokan Mine project was not presently economically feasible nor would it be feasible for the foreseeable future.
  • Ucore has not contested Dr. Hammond's updated analysis of Ucore's 2013 Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA"), which Ucore continues to reference in its public statements as evidence of the Bokan Mine project's feasibility, that indicates the Bokan Mine project's current Net Present Value is negative $819 million at an after-tax nominal discount rate of 12%.
  • Ucore has offered no factual challenge to Dr. Hammond's finding that the 2013 PEA relied on price predictions based on a three-year average, incorporating the mid-2011 REE price bubble, that gives economic results that are invalid today. REE price assumptions used by Dr. Hammond were based on Asian Metal publications for the April 2019 time period and were on average 80% lower than the values used in the 2013 PEA. Dr. Hammond's sensitivity analysis indicates that today's rare earth oxide prices would have to increase by a minimum factor of seven to eight (7 to 8) in order for the Bokan Mine to achieve a nominal after tax return of 12%.
  • Ucore has not specifically denied Dr. Hammond's findings that the site of the Bokan Mine project includes land that has been designated by the United States government as a Superfund site which raises potentially significant financial liability and remediation costs, the total of which is unknown.

Ucore has failed, publicly in its NOA and otherwise, to factually address these and many other issues raised by Dr. Hammond's report; instead choosing to file yet another lawsuit, that merely offers general expressions that IBC's true statements, based on Dr. Hammond's findings and other sources, are purportedly false.

According to Ucore's own Management's Discussion and Analysis for the period ended June 30, 2019:  "The PEA includes indicated and inferred mineral resources only, which are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves….Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability….No assurance can be given that any particular level of recovery of ore reserves or resources will be realized or produced from the Company's Bokan Project."

As Ucore states in its NOA, it "relies upon external financing principally by selling Ucore's shares to investors."  This remark, too, drives home the truth of IBC's prior statements, including that since beginning to market the Bokan Mine project – some nine years ago – Ucore has never made a profit, has not produced a bankable feasibility study, and the Bokan Mine project is nowhere near "shovel ready."

Background of IBC

IBC is an award-winning provider of proprietary and innovative Molecular Recognition Technology ("MRT") products and processes, based on green chemistry and green engineering, to premier customers worldwide.  IBC's SuperLig®, AnaLig® and MacroLig® products and associated processes are used in manufacturing, analytical and laboratory applications.

In 1988, IBC was founded by and named after three Brigham Young University professors: Dr. Reed M. Izatt, Dr. Jerald S. Bradshaw and Dr. James J. Christensen.

IBC is the proud sponsor of the International Izatt-Christensen Award.  This Award, founded in 1991 and named after Dr. Reed M. Izatt and Dr. James J. Christensen, two of the founders of IBC, recognizes excellence in macrocyclic and supramolecular chemistry.  It is known as one of the most prestigious small awards in chemistry.  The Award is presented annually at the International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry ("ISMSC").  Two of the early recipients of the Award later shared the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.  The precursor of the ISMSC was founded by Dr. Izatt and Dr. Christensen in 1977.

A privately-held Utah corporation, IBC counts among its shareholders a multi-billion dollar international manufacturing company, which has been a major customer and benefactor of IBC for over thirty (30) years.  IBC has built its business upon integrity, trust and excellence and values its close association with such top-tier companies.

IBC provides proprietary, green chemistry and green engineering SuperLig® Molecular Recognition Technology products and processes worldwide.  More information can be found at www.ibcmrt.com



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