The global raw materials and materials trader thyssenkrupp Materials Trading has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSXV: UCU) (FSE: U9UA), a Canadian-based rare earth carbonate processing company, for the purchase of the carbonate. Through the MoU, thyssenkrupp Materials Trading, a subsidiary of thyssenkrupp Materials Services, strengthens its position in the global distribution of rare earths.
Ucore Rare Metals Inc. is developing the Alaska Strategic Metals Complex (SMC) in Alaska, USA, a facility for processing rare earths and other critical minerals, which is scheduled to start production in 2024. For this, thyssenkrupp Materials Trading will provide at least 1,000 tons per year of rare earth carbonate through its global supplier network from that date. Optionally, advance delivery to Ucore Rare Metals Inc. for testing purposes is possible. In addition, both parties are discussing offtake options from the oxide production of Ucore Rare Metals Inc.
A versatile and important raw material
Due to their unique physical and chemical properties, rare earths are an essential component of the energy transition. They are used in the form of rare earth magnets in electric vehicle motors and generators in wind power plants, among other things. Other applications are in the special alloys, chemical catalysts, laser crystals, polishing agents for the glass industry and phosphors.
“thyssenkrupp Materials Trading is a stalwart in the global critical metals industry and the perfect prospective partner for Ucore’s development of an independent rare earth supply chain in North America,” says Pat Ryan, P.Eng., Ucore Chairman and CEO. “The execution of this MoU ensures that Ucore will have diverse sources of feedstock for the Alaska SMC, increasing our security of supply. Additionally, it allows the parties to consider various forms of a contractual supply and marketing relationship as Ucore continues to develop and secure aspects of its envisioned rare earth elements supply chain, and as thyssenkrupp further strengthens its position as a worldwide critical materials acquisition leader.”
Wolfgang Schnittker, CEO of thyssenkrupp Materials Trading, says: “The partnership with Ucore Rare Metals Inc. underlines the consistent expansion of our sales activities in the global distribution of rare earth products, which is made possible by our strong and broad supplier base. By supplying our partner with high quality carbonate, we now have the opportunity to contribute to the development of a strategically important and reliable supply chain of rare earth products in North America.”