December 19, 2023 (www.waternewswire.com) Defense Metals Corp. ("Defense Metals" or the "Company") (TSX-V:DEFN / OTCQB:DFMTF/ 35D: FSE) was recently featured in an article in Reuters 'Western start-ups seek to break China's grip on rare earths refining'.
Read the full article on Reuters:
Read the article on Taipei Times
Ernest Scheyder, Thomson Reuters
Rare earths are a group of 17 metals used to make magnets that turn power into motion for electric vehicles, cell phones and other electronics. While U.S. scientists helped develop solvent extraction for rare earths in the 1950s, radioactive waste from the process gradually made it unpopular in the United States.
China began to rapidly expand in the industry starting during the 1980s and now controls 87% of global rare earths refining capacity, according to the International Energy Agency. That prowess has helped propel the country's economy to the second-largest in the world.
Rare earths miners increasingly say they are content to focus on digging up rock - rather than compounding their operations with the added step of processing.
Emerging Western rivals now offer the tantalizing prospect of processing the minerals in faster, cleaner and cheaper ways, if they can successfully launch.
"Mining companies should focus on finding new deposits," said Luisa Moreno, president of Defense Metals (DEFN.V), which aims to open a rare earths mine in British Columbia within four years and is interested in licensing Ucore's technology. "You probably should let refining be handled by others that specialize in that."
On a former U.S. Air Force base in Louisiana, Ucore Rare Metals (UCU.V) aims to process rare earths by mid-2025 using a technology known as RapidSX that it says is at least three times faster than solvent extraction, produces no hazardous chemical waste and requires only a third of the physical space.
"Our goal is to re-establish a North American rare earths supply chain," Michael Schrider, Ucore's chief operating officer, said during a visit to the site.
Formed in 2006, Ucore initially planned to mine a rare earths deposit in Alaska. But the company changed tack in 2022 to focus on refining, not mining, a pivot born from what two executives said they saw as a flaw in the West's strategy to weaken China's minerals dominance by trying to master both steps simultaneously.
Ucore, which has been testing its process with Pentagon funding, is in talks now with 17 mining companies to buy lightly processed supplies of rare earths known as concentrate, ship them to the Port of New Orleans, then truck them to a 80,800-square foot warehouse that will be outfitted with the RapidSX technology beginning in January.
About Defense Metals Corp.
Defense Metals Corp. is a mineral exploration and development company focused on the development of its 100% owned Wicheeda Rare Earth Element project located near Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. Defense Metals Corp. trades in Canada under the symbol "DEFN" on the TSX Venture Exchange, in the United States, under "DFMTF" on the OTCQB, and in Germany on the Frankfurt Exchange under "35D".
Defense Metals is a proud member of Discovery Group. For more information please visit:
For further information, please visit www.defensemetals.com or contact:
Todd Hanas, Bluesky Corporate Communications Ltd.
Vice President, Investor Relations
Tel: (778) 994 8072
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.
Cautionary Statement Regarding "Forward-Looking" Information
This news release contains "forward-looking information or statements" within the meaning of applicable securities laws, which may include, without limitation, statements relating to completion of the PFS and the expected timelines, advancing the Wicheeda REE Project, the technical, financial and business prospects of the Company, its project and other matters. All statements in this news release, other than statements of historical facts, that address events or developments that the Company expects to occur, are forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Such statements and information are based on numerous assumptions regarding present and future business strategies and the environment in which the Company will operate in the future, including the price of rare earth elements, the anticipated costs and expenditures, the ability to achieve its goals, that general business and economic conditions will not change in a material adverse manner, that financing will be available if and when needed and on reasonable terms. Such forward-looking information reflects the Company's views with respect to future events and is subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including the risks and uncertainties relating to the interpretation of exploration and metallurgical results, risks related to the inherent uncertainty of exploration and development and cost estimates, the potential for unexpected costs and expenses and those other risks filed under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedarplus.ca. While such estimates and assumptions are considered reasonable by the management of the Company, they are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive and regulatory uncertainties and risks. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward looking statements include, but are not limited to, continued availability of capital and financing and general economic, market or business conditions, adverse weather and climate conditions, failure to maintain or obtain all necessary government permits, approvals and authorizations, failure to maintain community acceptance (including First Nations), risks relating to unanticipated operational difficulties (including failure of equipment or processes to operate in accordance with specifications or expectations, cost escalation, unavailability of personnel, materials and equipment, government action or delays in the receipt of government approvals, industrial disturbances or other job action, and unanticipated events related to health, safety and environmental matters), risks relating to inaccurate geological, metallurgical and engineering assumptions, decrease in the price of rare earth elements, the impact of Covid-19 or other viruses and diseases on the Company's ability to operate, an inability to predict and counteract the effects of COVID-19 on the business of the Company, including but not limited to, the effects of COVID-19 on the price of commodities, capital market conditions, restriction on labour and international travel and supply chains, loss of key employees, consultants, or directors, increase in costs, delayed results, litigation, and failure of counterparties to perform their contractual obligations. The Company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, except as required by law.
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