Defense Metals, Ucore sign MoU for collaboration on REE supply chain

10th January 2024 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Senior Contributing Editor Online

Mineral exploration and development company Defense Metals has executed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with TSX-V-listed Ucore Rare Metals to explore collaborative opportunities as both companies move towards their respective commercialisation efforts for a North American rare earth element (REE) supply chain.

As one of the first projects under this MoU, Defense Metals will ship a mixed rare earth carbonate sample from its Wicheeda REE project to Ucore’s Kingston, Ontario, rapid commercialisation and demonstration facility (CDF).

SGS Canada in Lakefield, Ontario, will ship the sample to Ucore’s CDF on behalf of Defense Metals.

This sample was generated during 2023 hydrometallurgical piloting test work performed on concentrate produced by earlier flotation pilot plant testing of a 26 t bulk sample from Defense Metals’ wholly-owned Wicheeda REE project in British Columbia.

“We expect to ship a mixed rare earth carbonate sample in the next few weeks to Ucore’s demonstration plant for testing. The Wicheeda project is being developed as a viable source of REE from North America and as more processing and separation facilities become operational in the future, the demand for REE feedstock will be increasingly important.

“This MoU with Ucore is a further step in that direction to be part of the Western world’s REE supply chain,” says Defense Metals CEO Craig Taylor.

“The opportunity to align closer with Defense Metals is strategically important. The MoU lays out the framework wherein Defense Metals’ technically strong and readily accessible North American REE resource can be further processed and refined using Ucore’s Canadian-founded technology, RapidSX.

“Receiving the sample mixed rare earth carbonate at our Kingston CDF will start the process of determining what may be possible between the companies as we collectively look to fuel the twenty-first-century energy transition,” says Ucore CEO and chairperson Pat Ryan