ALEXANDRIA, La. – Ucore North America, a subsidiary of Ucore Rare Metals Inc., announced it is investing $75 million to establish North America’s first modern technology rare earth element separation and purification facility in Rapides Parish. The Louisiana Strategic Metals Complex will establish a U.S.-based supply chain of rare earth oxides required to manufacture electric vehicle motors, wind turbine generators and a variety of consumer goods including smart phones and power tools.
The company expects to create 100 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of more than $50,000. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 298 additional new indirect jobs, for a total of 398 new jobs in the Central Region.
“This major manufacturing project in central Louisiana is another illustration of how the shift toward cleaner energy is creating jobs and increasing investment all across our state,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “The products manufactured at Ucore will reinforce Louisiana’s importance to the global supply chain as we look to further diversify and expand our economy.”
Ucore plans to import thousands of metric tons of high-purity rare earth feedstocks to its Louisiana Strategic Metals Complex through the Port of New Orleans from regions around the globe. The facility will then deploy Ucore’s critical metals separation technology to produce the materials for industrial rare earth permanent magnets used in EV motors and to generate electricity from wind turbines.
The rare earth elements are a set of 17 metallic elements often found together in geologic deposits across the world and are often referred to as rare earth metals. They are also referred to as rare earth oxides when chemically combined with oxygen and used to make rare earth metals, alloys and magnets.
“It is critical that the United States leads in establishing the critical metals supply chain essential to a changing manufacturing landscape across North America,” Ucore Chairman and CEO Patrick Ryan said. “The establishment of the Louisiana SMC in Alexandria represents one of these first building blocks and a significant contributor to the shift toward energy production and consumption diversification.”
Ucore’s Louisiana facility will be located at England Airpark in Alexandria. Upgrades to the 80,800 square foot complex are slated to begin this year with operations estimated to start in early 2025. The company anticipates it will be able to process 7,500 metric tons per year of total rare earth oxides at the site by 2027.
“We are very proud to welcome Ucore to Alexandria,” Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy said. “This exciting and new technology-based chemical company could have located anywhere, so we are excited that we were picked for their first U.S. location and look forward to what that means for our region. In addition to the creation of 100 new jobs, we are increasing our part of the energy diversification supply chain, and we are betting that other companies in the sector will follow them here.”
To secure the project in Alexandria, the state of Louisiana offered Ucore a competitive incentives package including the comprehensive workforce development solutions of LED FastStart and a $900,000 performance-based grant for infrastructure expenditures. The company intends to participate in the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption and Quality Jobs programs as well as utilize the Research and Development tax credit.
“The England Authority is excited to be selected as the site for UCORE to establish its North American rare earth metal processing facility,” England Airpark Executive Director Ralph Hennessy said. “The capital investment and jobs created will help enable central Louisiana to cluster necessary companies to continue with the development of major components necessary for the growth of the electric vehicle industry. We want to thank UCORE for investing in Louisiana and partnering with the multiple entities that made this happen.”
"Ucore’s decision to locate its Strategic Metals Complex at England Airpark is an important strategic and economic development victory for Louisiana and our region,” Louisiana Central president and CEO Jim Clinton said. “Thanks to Ucore for choosing this location and congratulations to our partners at England Airpark for all the work involved in making this happen."
About Ucore Rare Metals Inc.
Ucore is focused on rare- and critical-metal separation technologies targeting production, scalability and growth. Ucore's vision and plan is to become a leading advanced technology company, providing best-in-class metal separation products and services to the nascent North American rare earth element supply chain. This plan includes the near-term development of a heavy and light rare-earth processing facility in Louisiana, with subsequent facilities in Canada, Alaska and the longer-term development of Ucore's heavy-rare-earth-element mineral-resource property at Bokan Mountain on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. Ucore is listed on the TSXV under the trading symbol UCU and in the United States on the OTC Markets' OTCQX® Best Market under the ticker symbol UURAF. Learn more at Ucore.com.
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant economy. It is the only state agency in the U.S. accredited by the International Economic Development Council, boasting award-winning programs like LED FastStart, rated the No. 1 customized workforce training program in the U.S. 13 years in a row. In 2022, LED attracted 53 new economic development projects representing 18,137 new direct, indirect and retained jobs and $20.7 billion in new capital investment. Explore how LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana and employers of all sizes at OpportunityLouisiana.com.