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U.S. Strategic Metals Announces Wholly Domestic Production of Critical Minerals for Electric Vehicle Batteries

15 Sep 2022

U.S. Strategic Metals, LLC ("USSM"), a company committed to obtaining the critical minerals ethically and sustainably to fuel the green energy revolution and advance America's economic and national security, announced that it will break ground later this month for a pilot precursor cathode active material ("PCAM") plant on USSM's facility in rural Missouri.

USSM's PCAM facility, combined with its existing hydrometallurgical processing plant ("hydromet"), will close the loop on the production of critical minerals wholly within the United States. When USSM enters production of PCAM, American electric vehicle manufacturers and battery companies may no longer need to go outside the United States—to China or other countries—to get the critical material needed to power their vehicles.

"This new PCAM plant will dramatically improve America's production of electric vehicle batteries by creating an end-to-end battery materials pipeline here in the United States, is already creating new jobs and significant economic opportunities in a rural and economically challenged community, and represents a major environmental and economic success story, with USSM partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Missouri's Department of Natural Resources to clean up this former lead mine and make it into a new engine for growth," said Stacy W. Hastie, CEO of U.S. Strategic Metals.

"This new plant and its ability to provide cobalt, nickel, lithium, and other critical minerals alongside USSM's strategic vision and approach to protecting America's access to such material has the potential to help break China'sstranglehold on the processing of these critical materials once and for all," said Jamil N. Jaffer, former senior advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and USSM Advisory Board Member.

USSM's hydromet pilot plant—up and running successfully for over two years—uses proprietary American technology to process a wide range of raw materials cleanly—including material from used EV batteries, existing mine waste, and raw ore—to obtain new battery-grade metals and other strategic metals. By building a commercial-scale hydromet plant—which USSM expects will begin commissioning by the end of the year—USSM estimates that it could supply half the United States total demand for cobalt and nickel sulfate by 2025 and potentially the full U.S. demand for cobalt sulfate soon thereafter.

Today, China processes upwards of 90% of the world's cobalt along with many other critical minerals. As a result, Chinacontrols a key element of the world's supply chain for EV batteries and other critical

aerospace and defense applications. USSM's capacity to obtain and process these materials, as well as other critical minerals, represents a massive opportunity to lead on environmental protection and enhance the national security of the United States.

USSM's new and existing pilot and commercial-scale facilities—combined with USSM's ownership of one of the largest domestic sites of strategic metals with over 3,800 acres of mineral rights—enables USSM to rapidly commercialize a domestic supply of ethically and sustainably sourced critical minerals to meet our nation's unprecedented demand. Indeed, with the successful completion of its pilot PCAM plant and the future construction of a commercial-scale PCAM facility in partnership with the industry-leading engineering and design-build firm CLAYCO, USSM will be the first producer of cobalt in the world with a complete, closed-loop supply chain in the United States adhering to the highest standards of ethics and environmental stewardship.

USSM uses a transformative hydrometallurgical process that can substantially reduce emissions, waste, and the inefficient power consumption plaguing other processing capabilities like leaching and smelting used in China and elsewhere. USSM also has valuable partnerships with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help ensure that all of USSM's efforts are consistent with our nation's global leadership on environmental matters.

This means that USSM has the potential to completely relieve the United States' current dependence on foreign adversaries in a way that is consistent with American values. Moreover, in addition to being able to obtain these key battery materials wholly within the United States, having a domestic processing capability in the U.S. means that USSM has the potential to disintermediate China from its current role processing the vast majority of the world's cobalt supply.

For more information, visit USSM's Website. Information on USSM's website is not incorporated by reference into this press release, and you should not consider information on USSM's website to be part of this press release.

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