HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 10, 2010) -
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Ucore Uranium Inc. (TSX VENTURE:UCU) is pleased to announce the completion of an exploration plan for its Bokan-Dotson Ridge rare earth element (REE) project in 2010. The comprehensive exploration agenda, continuing under the management of Ucore's wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary Rare Earth One, has been designed with a concentration on advancement of existing zones with infill and exploratory drill work, while expanding overall project scope.
Drilling in 2010 will focus on the rare earth-bearing zones at the Dotson Trend and the Sunday Lake Zone, which yielded significant heavy REE intercepts in 2009. This year's program will target a minimum of 3000 metres, and will include detailed geological mapping, airborne and ground-based geophysical surveying, detailed mineralogical studies, environmental baseline data collection, and bench-scale metallurgical testwork. The 2010 work will also include the engagement of independent mining engineering services to complete an early stage scoping study of prospective mining logistics and methodologies at Bokan.
The 2007-2009 field programs at Bokan-Dotson Ridge successfully completed 73 diamond drill holes spanning five distinct rare earth targets. Those targets are comprised of the Dotson, Geoduck, Cheri, and I&L Zones to the southeast of the Bokan Intrusive Complex (the "Complex"), as well as the Sunday Lake Zone to the northwest.
The three seasons of drilling at Bokan have yielded some of the highest heavy rare earth element (HREE) grades on record for a North American rare earth deposit. In particular, the 2009 discovery at Sunday Lake has provided a highly attractive target for continued exploration. The discovery is unusual by North American standards, since it has rendered total rare earth drill assays comprised almost entirely of heavy REE's; specifically, 95% heavy REE's as a component of total REE's. These results are anomalous compared to known rare earth deposits, with an industry average of less than 10% heavy REE's as a component of total REE's. The following table highlights exceptionally high HREE content obtained from the I&L and Sunday Lake Zones:
Note: TREO = total rare earth oxides, HREO/TREO = heavy rare earth oxides as percent of TREO. Intercepts are apparent widths released previously.
Also noteworthy are exceptionally high concentrations of terbium and dysprosium assayed at Sunday Lake, with values ranging from background to as high as 1.13 lbs/ton Tb2O3 and 7.69 lbs/ton Dy2O3 from drill core. These two elements are among the most valuable, scarcest and sought-after rare earth elements. The demand for both Tb and Dy are increasing for strategic military, green energy and high technology applications, and as a result have received progressively higher recent media attention in the U.S. and elsewhere.
"Our objective is to advance the Bokan-Dotson Ridge project as quickly as possible," said Jim McKenzie, Ucore's President & CEO. "A detailed analysis of our recent exploration data has now commenced, which will deliver the initial stages of a comprehensive 3D model at the Dotson Zone, which is the main area of REE mineralization located east of the Complex. These subsurface data will be combined with new geophysical data obtained via a 2009 airborne survey. Together, the two datasets will be used to target 2010 drill hole locations and spacing intervals, all with a view to obtaining a NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate, projected to be delivered later this year. Our metallurgical work will investigate the previous U.S. Bureau of Mines studies which showed a recovery rate of up to 96% yttrium from Dotson Zone samples."
"It's also worthwhile to comment at this time on the strategic importance of this year's exploration program and our primary exploration target at Bokan: heavy rare earths, or HREE's," continued McKenzie. "A number of near-term events have the potential for material impact on the U.S. rare earth sector, and HREE's in particular. They include the pending finalization of China's five year plan, which promises a staged export withdrawal of HREE's such as terbium and dysprosium, metals particular to Bokan and in short supply worldwide. In April, the U.S. Committee on Armed Services is due to issue a report on rare earths in the supply chain of the Department of Defense to the U.S. Senate. The U.S. is the world's largest consumer of HREE's for strategic military and high technology applications. In turn, Bokan's unique positioning as the largest historically estimated HREE deposit in the U.S., albeit non 43-101 compliant, should serve us well in focusing attention on an increasingly compelling story. As well, our drive towards a 43-101 compliant resource estimate in 2010 becomes all the more salient, in light of near-term domestic and international events."
The Bokan-Dotson Ridge project, located on Prince of Wales Island in southeastern Alaska, is 100% owned by Ucore with purchasable NSR's ranging from 2 to 4% on 84 of 512 claims. In addition, Kirrin Resources (TSX VENTURE:KYM) is earning a 50% interest in Ucore's Lost Pond REE-U project in Newfoundland, with recent surface samples assaying up to 10% TREO. Additional properties continue to be held in Nunavut, Ontario, and Labrador.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Ucore Uranium Inc.
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 exploration drilling, exploration activities and events or developments that Ucore expects, are forward-looking statements. Although Ucore believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include exploitation and exploration successes, continued availability of financing, and general economic, market or business conditions.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.