Bokan-Dotson rare earth element project scores legislative victory

April 30, 2014

Canada-based Ucore Rare Metals moved closer to start up of its flagship Bokan-Dotson Ridge rare earth element project when Alaska’s state Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 99 (SB 99) that clears the way for the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) to issues up to $145 million bonds to help fund the project.

SB 99 was introduced by Sen. Lesil McGuire (AK-R). Sen. Bert Stedman (AK-R) proposed the amendment which would authorize the AIDEA to issue bonds to finance the infrastructure and construction costs of the Bokan-Dotson Ridge rare earth element project up to a principal amount of $145 million, subject to its own internal due diligence and board approval. SB 99 was presented to the House by Rep. Feige (AK-R).

“I am thrilled to have been able to take the next step toward realizing Alaska’s potential for rare earth minerals mining,” said Alaska State Senator Lesil McGuire (R- Anchorage). “I have long seen the need for a U.S. source of these important materials and the potential benefit for Southeast Alaska and our state economy. Senate Bill 99 offers Ucore the chance to partner with AIDEA and make this tremendous project a reality.”

“Over the past 20 years, Southeast Alaska lost about 30-percent of its economy due to the decline of the local timber industry,” said Senator Stedman. “This project offers a very large employment opportunity for Southeast Alaska and replicates what has already worked with places such as the Red Dog Mine.”

“We’re very pleased with the outstanding support that the Bokan Project has received from the Alaska State Legislature,” said Jim McKenzie, President and chief executive officer of Ucore. “Alaska has a very long history of advancing and supporting key resource projects, both financially and otherwise, and Bokan is no exception. Alaska legislators have recognized that the area has the potential to be America’s leading heavy rare earth production hub, with an array of ancillary industries, such as REE separation and metal manufacture. Our very sincere thanks to Sens McGuire and Stedman for their vision and leadership in this area, and the collateral support of its cross-sponsors.”

The bond financing will be subject to AIDEA’s internal due diligence and board approval, to be completed subsequent to the release of the Bokan-Dotson Ridge feasibility study on the project. The feasibility study will build on the Preliminary Economic Assessment released by Ucore in 2013.


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