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Wednesday, 05/19/2021 9:07:56 AM

Wednesday, May 19, 2021 9:07:56 AM

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TORONTO, May 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC” or the “Company”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (UURAF), is pleased to announce the formation of the IMC Technical Advisory Board and associated initial appointments. The Technical Advisory Board is comprised of internationally recognized industry experts and thought leaders, with significant scientific, technical, and market expertise relating to rare-earth elements (“REEs”) and other critical materials.

The Technical Advisory Board will advise and support IMC’s leadership team in making important technical and logistical decisions, as the Company continues to advance the commercialization of IMC’s proprietary RapidSX™ technology, for the economic, commercial-scale separation of both light REEs (“LREEs”) and heavy REEs (“HREEs”).

Technical Advisory Board Appointments
IMC is honoured to announce the following initial expert appointments to the Company’s Technical Advisory Board, effective immediately:

Dr. Gisele Azimi
Dr. Christian Ekberg
Mr. Furkhat Faizulla
Dr. V. I. Lakshmanan
Importantly, the Technical Advisory Board will also provide expert advice and support to further demonstrate and validate IMC’s unique separation technology platform for other critical materials too, including lithium (“Li”), nickel (“Ni”) and cobalt (“Co”).

The Technical Advisory Board will formally meet together with IMC’s Board and Senior Officers on a quarterly basis, and the individual members of the Technical Advisory Board will also be available to IMC between meetings as needed for any additional support and advice.

IMC Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, Dr. Gareth Hatch, stated, “The creation of our Technical Advisory Board is an important step in the continued advancement of IMC’s objectives. We are delighted to welcome such highly credentialed appointments in Dr. Azimi, Dr. Ekberg, Mr. Faizulla, and Dr. Lakshmanan during this defining period for IMC. They will support and evaluate our technical development and advise on strategic initiatives for future RapidSX applications, in addition to those for REEs. We are very excited and privileged to benefit from such a complementary, yet diverse group of industry experts to further enhance and advance the commercialization of the RapidSX technology. IMC’s ability to attract talent of this caliber underscores the near-term potential for this much-needed technology.”

IMC Technical Advisory Board Members

Dr. Gisele Azimi, P.Eng.
Dr. Azimi is an associate professor at the University of Toronto, jointly appointed by the Departments of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and Materials Science & Engineering. She is a Canada Research Chair in Urban Mining Innovations and is also a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario. Dr. Azimi’s expertise spans the fields of electrochemistry, extractive metallurgy, materials design and fabrication, materials separation and organic/inorganic chemistry. She received her doctorate from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto in 2010. Prior to her University of Toronto faculty appointment in 2014, Dr. Azimi completed two postdoctoral appointments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Mechanical Engineering respectively.

Dr. Azimi has been recognized by several ‘young researcher’ awards including the Emerging Leaders of Chemical Engineering Award, the McCharles Prize, the CSChE Innovation Award, the Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering Lectureship Award, the TMS Young Leaders Award, the Spark Professorship, and the Connaught New Researcher Award. She has been recognized for her teaching and mentorship and received the Burgess Teaching Award. Dr. Azimi established and leads the Laboratory for Strategic Materials, a large and successful research group at the University of Toronto, focused on critical materials.

Dr. Azimi’s research interests include sustainability and advanced materials & manufacturing research themes, with a particular emphasis on advanced recycling and urban mining, and valorization of waste streams to produce strategic materials such as REEs. She has also served as an editor of Rare Metal Technology 2018, Rare Metal Technology 2019, Rare Metal Technology 2020, and Rare Metal Technology 2021.

Dr. Christian Ekberg
Dr. Ekberg is a full professor at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. He has been Stena’s Chair in Industrial Materials Recycling since 2007 and a full professor in nuclear chemistry since 2012. Dr. Ekberg was previously head of the joint Department of Nuclear Chemistry and Industrial Materials Recycling at Chalmers, and is currently leader of the Energy and Materials Division.

Dr. Ekberg began his research at Chalmers with the modeling of chemical systems, focused on uncertainty and sensitivity analysis, and how uncertainties in chemical-model inputs affect the outputs. He later shifted focus to the experimental determination of stability constants, primarily via solvent extraction. After completing a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (“ANSTO”), Dr. Ekberg returned to Chalmers and became responsible for research on separation and transmutation nuclear chemistry, while also expanding research on thermodynamics and solvent extraction.

More recently, Dr. Ekberg has broadened the focus of his research to include the production and recyclability of novel innovative nuclear fuels. He was instrumental in founding the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Centre (“SNEC”) at Chalmers and was its scientific leader and later director. He founded the national Competence Centre Recycling (“CCR”) in 2007 and was the first director of the National Swedish Academic Initiative for Nuclear Technology (“SAINT”).

Dr. Ekberg has been a member of the International Steering Committee for the International Solvent Extraction Conference (“ISEC”) since 2013. He has refereed papers for more than a dozen international scientific journals, and is a member of various editorial boards, including for the journal Solvent Extraction and Ion Exchange.

Dr. Ekberg holds a master’s degree in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. degree in nuclear chemistry, both from Chalmers. He has published over 250 scientific papers, numerous reports, and has authored or co-authored 10 books or book chapters, including Hydrolysis of Metal Ions and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Recycling: Research, Development, and Policies in 2016 and Radiochemistry and Nuclear Chemistry in 2013. Dr. Ekberg is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (“IVA”) as well as the Royal Society for Arts and Sciences (“KVVS”).

Mr. Furkhat Faizulla
Mr. Faizulla is a founding member of Advanced Material of Japan Corporation (“AMJC”), one of the largest traders of rare metals in Japan. He has more than 20 years of rare-metal trading and marketing experience, specializing in REEs, tungsten and other critical metals. One of Japan’s leading REE trading companies, AMJC specializes in the procurement and sale of REEs and other critical materials, including tungsten and titanium ore concentrates, oxide and metals. As well as heading AMJC’s North America office, Mr. Faizulla is also Managing Director of his own metals-trading company.

Mr. Faizulla was a co-founder of IMC and served as an Independent Director of IMC from the Company’s inception, until its acquisition by Ucore Rare Metals Inc.(UURAF) in May 2020. Fluent in English, Japanese, Chinese and Uzbek, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and a master’s degree in International Business from Hiroshima University.

Dr. V. I. ‘Lucky’ Lakshmanan, CEng, FIMMM, FCAE, FCIM
A long-time friend and colleague of IMC since the Company’s inception, Dr. Lakshmanan is the Chief Executive Officer, Vice Chairman and co-Founder of Process Research ORTECH Inc. (“PRO”), based in Mississauga, Ontario. An internationally renowned teacher, scientist and innovator in the areas of hydrometallurgy and sustainable development, Dr. Lakshmanan is a named inventor on multiple patents and has more than 45 years of hands-on experience in technology development and commercialization, with both private and public sector entities. He moved to Canada in 1974, after serving as a lecturer at the University of Birmingham in the UK. He subsequently held prominent positions in Canada’s engineering/technology sector, with companies such as Noranda, Eldorado Nuclear and ORTECH Corporation. He co-founded PRO in Mississauga in 1999 and has guided it to become a global leader in sustainable process technologies.

Dr Lakshmanan has channeled his passion for community service through numerous initiatives, supporting organizations like the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, the Canada India Business Council, TiE Toronto, and IC-IMPACTS. Dr Lakshmanan is a co-founder and Past Chair of the Canada India Foundation, a public-policy organization, where he organized several sectoral Canada-India public policy forums and was instrumental in three visits to Canada by India’s former President, Dr. Abdul Kalam. Inspired by the late Dr Kalam, he has conducted conferences on Smart Villages at the University of Toronto and has sponsored clean drinking-water systems and a mobile hospital in rural India.

Born and educated in India, Dr. Lakshmanan obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Bombay University and is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum. He has published more than 150 papers and written several books on science, process engineering and public policy. Dr. Lakshmanan co-authored Innovative Process Development in Metallurgical Industry: Concept to Commission in 2016.

Dr Lakshmanan’s contributions to science and community service have earned him numerous awards and honors, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Sherritt Hydrometallurgy Award, the MetSoc Environmental Award, the Sir Joseph Flavelle Award for Technical Innovation, and the Lifetime / Outstanding Achievement Award from the Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, please visit or IMC’s YouTube channel at

About the RapidSX™ Technology
IMC developed the RapidSX separation technology with early-stage assistance from the United States Department of Defense (“US DoD”), later resulting in the production of commercial grade, separated rare-earth oxides (“REOs”) at the pilot scale. RapidSX combines the time-proven chemistry of conventional solvent extraction (“SX”) with a new column-based platform, which significantly reduces time to completion and plant footprint, as well as potentially lowering capital and operating costs. SX is the international rare-earth element (“REE”) industry's standard commercial separation technology and is currently used by 100% of all REE producers worldwide for bulk commercial separation of both heavy and light REEs. Utilizing similar chemistry to conventional SX, RapidSX is not a “new” technology, but represents a significant improvement on the well-established, well-understood, proven conventional SX separation technology preferred by REE producers.

Ucore Chairman & CEO Provides Strategic Update to Shareholders: Taking Action Today to Secure Tomorrow

- Provided $1.9 million of funding to IMC for the further advancement of the RapidSX™ technology for commercial deployment; including a $1-million tranche transferred on April 26, 2021
- Allocated funding for an Independent Evaluation of RapidSX™ technology for the separation of REEs – scheduled for completion in Summer 2021
- Allocated $750,000 to further ongoing specific business-development activities and initial Alaska SMC engineering to ensure that project timelines are achieved
- Finalizing a $400,000 Summer 2021 work program at Bokan Mountain
- Provided $130,000 of funding to conduct the second phase of Bokan mill flowsheet development testing now underway at SGS Canada – Lakefield

Halifax, Nova Scotia – (May 12, 2021) – Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSXV: UCU) (OTCQX: UURAF) (“Ucore” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide the following message from Pat Ryan, Chairman & CEO of Ucore.

To Our Valued Shareholders,

I had the good fortune last week of hearing from various Ucore shareholders. Several were loyal, long-term shareholders who have been with us through the ebb-and-flow of our Company’s history for more than a decade and they asked me to directly expand on the steps we are taking and my vision of the future of Ucore. One in particular, a brand-new shareholder, explained why he recently invested his hard-earned money with Ucore and he hit upon virtually every aspect of our planning and actions that we have attempted to communicate to you and all stakeholders over the past year, including:

1. Centering the Company on a transformative critical metals separation technology;
2. creating a share structure that is right-sized and conducive for growth;
3. establishing a management team with a track record of producing products in demanding industries;
4. strengthening our fiscal position and eliminating unnecessary risks; and
5. positioning the Company to benefit from increasing rare earth element (“REE”) market prices based on 21st Century technologies and a political groundswell of support for REE and other critical metals.

So, to all of our shareholders, I’m pleased to be able to offer the following updates pertaining to the crucial thrusts of our three-year business model – transformative technology, near-term processing, and long-term resource security.

A very informative article to read and view graphics at:

unchanged Outstanding Shares 49,084,130 04/30/2021
(Outstanding Shares 49,037,464 03/31/2021)

Resource estimate at Ucore's Dotson Ridge deposit:

According to a calculation completed in 2019, the Dotson Ridge deposit at Bokan hosts 4.79 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 0.6% (31,722 metric tons) rare earth oxides, 460 parts per million (2,205 metric tons) niobium; 1,880 ppm (9,001 metric tons) zirconium; 48 ppm (231 metric tons) beryllium; 37 ppm (178 metric tons) hafnium; 0.37% (17,715 metric tons) titanium dioxide; and 97 ppm (464 metric tons) vanadium.

In addition, Dotson Ridge hosts 1.05 metric tons of inferred resource averaging 0.6% (6,979 metric tons) total rare earth oxides; 470 ppm (493 metric tons) niobium; 1,897 ppm (1,992 metric tons) zirconium; 46 ppm (48 metric tons) beryllium; 35 ppm (37 metric tons) hafnium; 0.44% (4,652 metric tons) titanium dioxide; and 112 ppm (118 metric tons) vanadium.


Ucore Rare Metals Inc.'s Bokan deposit in Southeast Alaska is a potential domestic source of the entire suite of rare earth elements, along with six other minerals that have been deemed critical to the United States.

According to a calculation completed in 2019, the Dotson Ridge deposit at Bokan hosts 4.79 million metric tons of indicated resource averaging 0.6% (31,722 metric tons) rare earth oxides, 460 parts per million (2,205 metric tons) niobium; 1,880 ppm (9,001 metric tons) zirconium; 48 ppm (231 metric tons) beryllium; 37 ppm (178 metric tons) hafnium; 0.37% (17,715 metric tons) titanium dioxide; and 97 ppm (464 metric tons) vanadium.

Bokan, however, will likely not be the first Ucore initiative to produce rare earths in Alaska. This is because the company first plans to build a commercial-scale rare earths separation facility at Ketchikan, a port town about 35 miles from Bokan.

Article about Ucore rare metals (UURAF):

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