Ucore Uranium Inc.

Ucore Uranium Inc.

February 26, 2009 07:24 ET

Ucore Uranium Intersects 6.3 Meters Grading 3.9% Rare Earth Metals at I&L Zone, Further Confirms Six Kilometre Strike Length

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 26, 2009) - Ucore Uranium Inc. (TSX VENTURE:UCU) continues to obtain high grade assay results indicative of a continuous zone of Rare Earth Element (REE) mineralization along a structural trend connecting the former Ross Adams uranium mine and the nearby I&L Zone with the Geoduck Zone south of Kendrick Bay. The latest assays, obtained from the I&L Zone, indicate a diverse suite of heavy and light REE's along a structure that has been mapped and partially drilled along six kilometres of strike.

The following table summarizes select assay values from the most recent drilling at the I&L Zone:

Hole No. From Width Zirconium Yttrium LREE HREE TREE
m m (Zr) ppm (Y) ppm ppm ppm lb/ton
LM08-10 39.4 9.9 993 16,287 1,093 8,596 52.0
LM08-16 23.5 4.3 11,399 434 1,697 311 4.9
LM08-23 20.1 3.5 3,947 768 462 372 3.2
and 32.7 2.5 15,996 600 208 491 2.6
LM08-25 31.5 7.0 4,875 596 1,089 652 4.7
LM08-32 53.0 0.9 3,341 401 1,087 341 3.7
and 83.2 1.1 2,552 976 1,938 560 6.9
and 106.2 6.3 1,286 23,490 2,577 12,651 77.4
LM08-35 46.0 1.7 1,350 160 982 114 2.5
and 64.8 0.5 1,862 779 3,820 625 10.5
and 101.8 6.5 8,644 374 1,481 305 4.3
LM08-40 14.7 4.3 1,283 3,730 1,296 2,368 14.8

LREE = light rare earth elements as metal: La, Ce, Pr, Nd, and Sm
HREE = heavy rare earth elements as metal: Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, and Lu

"These latest assays from the I&L Zone demonstrate that the area contains an abundance of rare earths in addition to high grade uranium" said Jim McKenzie, President & CEO of Ucore. "What's most impressive, beyond the extraordinary concentrations of individual REE's across multiple holes, is the overall average of eight pounds of REE in addition to a total average heavy REE content of over 50%. Since individual heavy REE's have a substantially higher market value on a per pound basis than any of the light REE's, these most recent findings substantially increase the prospective aggregate value of metals contained in the I&L Zone. Further, the comparatively high concentrations of heavy REE's make Bokan stand out from most other REE deposits, the majority of which contain only light REE's."

The I&L Zone has been a primary target of Ucore's 2007 and 2008 drill programs. Over these two seasons, Ucore completed 41 holes within the I&L area, totaling nearly 3000 linear metres. The latest assays indicate that the zone contains high concentrations of REE's, in combination with individual areas of very high grade uranium mineralization. The 2008 field season included 30 holes at the I&L with 20 metre square centers, in an effort to explore the area's steeply dipping vein structure first drilled by Ucore in 2007. All but two of the 41 holes completed at the I&L over these two seasons show diverse and variable mineralization, which remains both open at depth and along strike.

During the two successive drill programs, core samples were selected for assay based primarily upon elevated levels of gamma radiation, since radioactivity correlates strongly to the presence of uranium. However, the assay data suggest that REE content is not correlated to elevated radioactivity. As a result, Ucore believes that non-assayed core from the 2007 and 2008 programs may contain substantial unmeasured REE content. Ucore is now planning to sample and analyze additional core to more accurately estimate REE content in the I&L Zone and elsewhere.

Among the I&L assays are unusually high concentrations of yttrium (Y). Hole LM08-32, for example, contains a weighted average of 23,490 ppm, or 47 lbs/ton, across 6.3 meters. Worldwide application and consumption of this metal has increased markedly over the past decade, including growing utilization as a catalyst in plastics manufacture, as a colour enhancer in the production of flat screen televisions, and as an essential material in the fabrication of oxygen sensors, gas lanterns and mantles. Yttrium enhances select characteristics of metal alloys and has several unique and important magnetic properties. The metal is also used extensively in the manufacture of microwave filters, synthetic garnets, acoustic energy transmitters, and as a critical component in the construction of high technology superconductors. Yttrium isotopes are now widely used in emerging cancer treatments and the production of surgical instruments. Ucore's exploration work is confirming prior US Geological Survey surface studies showing enriched yttrium values over a wide and readily accessible area at Bokan.

Another significant component of the recent I&L assays is the rare earth metal gadolinium (Gd). For example, hole LM08-32 averaged 1090 ppm, or nearly 2 lbs/ton, across 6.25 m. This metal is used extensively in microwave technologies, LCD screens, compact disks and computer memory chips. Gd has multiple critical uses in nuclear reactors, MRI processes, medical X-rays, and improves the workability and resistance of iron, chromium, and related alloys.

The term "rare earth elements" refers to the 15 metallic elements of the lanthanoid series, plus yttrium, which are characterized by similar physical and chemical properties. International demand for REE's, particularly the heavy REE's, has escalated markedly in recent years, with current worldwide production originating primarily within Asia. As the world's primary producer of HREE's, China has recently instituted limits to the exportable quantities of these critically important high technology metals, many of which trade between $100 and $1000 per pound on North American markets. The US Geological Survey has acknowledged the increasing importance of the HREE suite to the United States' military-industrial complex, and the risk associated with supply sources outside of US control. International car manufacturers are a primary user and have now entered the REE supply chain, securing long-term sources to ensure availability of raw materials for increasingly high-tech and energy efficient car models. More details on individual elements are available on the Bokan project page of Ucore's web site.

NI 43-101 Compliance

Diamond drill core was split on site, with half the core transported by commercial freight carriers to the Activation Laboratories analytical facility in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada. As part of a rigorous QA/QC program, blanks, standards, and duplicates were inserted into the sample train in the field and in the laboratory. Analyses were by a combination of inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry and X-ray fluorescence. Reported values are length-weighted averages from multiple samples as ppm metal. All widths reported are core intercepts; insufficient structural information is available to make a conclusive statement on the relationship between true width and core intercept. Harmen Keyser, P.Geol. (NWT), Ucore's Vice President of Project Development and a qualified person in accordance with NI 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical content of this press release. Plan maps showing drill hole locations and a table showing complete assay results have been posted on Ucore's web site.


Ucore Uranium Inc. is a junior exploration company focused on establishing uranium resources through exploration and property acquisition. With more than ten projects, Ucore's primary focus is the Bokan Mountain uranium and rare earth element property in southeast Alaska. The Bokan Mountain project contains Alaska's only prior producing uranium mine. The Ross Adams Zone at Bokan produced 1.3 million pounds of U3O8 at an average grade of 0.76% between 1957 and 1971. These were among the highest average grades ever recorded by a U.S. based uranium mine.

REE mineralization at Bokan Mountain is hosted in a complex system of felsic dikes radial to a zoned, peralkaline, granite intrusive known as the Bokan Mountain Intrusive. Most of the uranium mineralization in the area is characterized by multiple, steeply dipping, uraniferous quartz-pegmatite veins localized by radial fractures near the margin of the Complex, while most of the REE mineralization is more distal in more than 30 known occurrences.

Ucore Uranium owns a 100% interest in 512 Federal lode mining claims at Bokan Mountain, subject to NSR's ranging from 1% to 4% payable on less than 20% of the total mineral claims. Bokan Mountain is located on Prince of Wales Island in southeastern Alaska, with excellent deep water access and proximity to major sea and rail shipping routes across North America and to Asia.

For more information, please visit our website: www.ucoreuranium.com. For specific information relative to REE's, their valuations, and their applications, websites such as www.periodic.lanl.gov, www.elementsales.com, www.theanchorhouse.com, www.chemicool.com, and www.usgs.gov publish information of use to educational institutions, business, and industry.

Contact Information

  • Ucore Uranium Inc.
    Mr. Jim McKenzie
    President and Chief Executive Officer