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By ZACHARY HALASCHAK
Daily News Staff Writer
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that instructs his deputies to come up with a plan and a “strategy to reduce the Nation’s reliance on critical minerals.”
Following that announcement, Ucore Rare Metals, a company that has a 100-percent ownership stake in the Bokan-Dotson Ridge rare earth metals project on Prince of Wales Island, expressed its support for Trump’s executive order in a Friday press release.
“Ucore applauds the Trump Administration for issuing an executive order that fundamentally changes the way the United States views its national security and critical minerals policy,” the release reads.
In a statement on Wednesday, Trump said that the U.S. can no longer be reliant on other countries for our “critical minerals,” many of which are rare earth metals.
“The United States must not remain reliant on foreign competitors like Russia and China for the critical minerals needed to keep our economy strong and our country safe,” Trump said.
In its press release, Ucore concurred with Trump that relying on other countries for these minerals is “dangerous.”
“The order acknowledges that continued reliance on foreign nations such as China for a critical supply of minerals is dangerous,” the release reads, “and jeopardizes the United States’ technological superiority and military readiness.”
Jim McKenzie, president and CEO of Ucore, said in a statement that his company is pleased with the news and will ultimately reap the benefits of Trump’s executive order, especially in Southeast Alaska.
“With our plans for strategic metals production capabilities in Southeast Alaska and with significant strategic minerals resources at hand,” McKenzie said, “Ucore is well positioned to take advantage of this executive order and its benefits.”