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IBC renews partnership with Kazakhstan's Ulba, extends supply terms, to explore new opportunities

Vancouver-based IBC Advanced Alloys (CVE:IB) said Wednesday that it has signed an agreement with Kazakhstan's Ulba Metallurgical Plant to further advance opportunities in the global beryllium and rare earth metals market, strengthening the existing relationship between the two entities.

The memorandum of understanding (NASDAQ:MOU) was signed in May in Kazakhstan. Ulba is one of the largest beryllium processing and rare metal manufacturing facilities in the world, and a subsidiary of Kazatomprom, the National Atomic Company of Kazakhstan.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ulba and IBC intend to renew and and extend their multi-year supply agreements for both beryllium metal and beryllium alloys.

The agreements will provide IBC, which manufactures and distributes rare metals and beryllium-based alloys, with a consistent and reliable supply of the metals to meet increasing customer demand and to grow its alloys business.

The two companies have also outlined terms for examining technological and business development initiatives that will strengthen their respective businesses, and have agreed to explore new opportunities with complementary rare metals, such as tantalum, niobium and others.

Specifically, both Ulba and IBC will look towards resource exploration, development and production, as well as downstream manufacturing and distribution opportunities.

"We are very pleased to have signed this very important MOU," said president and CEO of IBC, Anthony Dutton, "and look forward to expanding our excellent relationship with Ulba."

"The 2010 acquisition of Beralcast, now called Engineered Materials Division, has positioned IBC as a global leader in the beryllium aluminum castings market and, together with our beryllium copper alloys business, has dramatically increased IBC's product range and market depth."

IBC's alloys are used in a number of industries, including nuclear energy, automotive, telecommunications and a range of industrial applications.The company, which also owns 9,500 hectares of prospective beryllium properties in the Western US, has production facilities in Indiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Missouri.
"Our strong relationship with Ulba," continued Dutton, "is a cornerstone of our growth and we are excited by the long term potential of our relationship and our mutual rare metals business."