Ucore Rare Metals, Inc. (Uncore), has announced (January 30, 2018) that Ketchikan will be the location of its Strategic Metals Complex (SMC or plant). Since 2006 Ucore has worked on developing the Bokan Mountain – Dodge Ridge Rare Earth Element Project near Kendrick Bay on Prince of Wales Island. The SMC will separate rare earth concentrates for use in the United States commercial and military technologies. For more information regarding this use read Ucore’s press release here.
Rare Earth Elements (REE) are used to make a wide variety of items, including high-tech military equipment, wind turbines, solar panels, powerful and advanced batteries, and other high-tech consumer products such as televisions, computers, tablets, and cell phones. China currently controls 97% of the production of these elements.
In Ucore’s press release yesterday, they mentioned the $145 million bonding authority which I placed into legislation that became law in 2014. With this authorization, the Alaska Industrial Development & Export Authority (AIDEA) can issue bonds to finance infrastructure and construction of the REE project. For background information on my amendments from 2014 read here and here.
This is encouraging news for Southeast Alaska as the Alaska’s Mining industry will provide family wage jobs. We need to move forward on this important project for economic growth in the region. For more information on AIDEA’s current update on the Bokan REE project click here.
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