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Rare Element Announces Appointment of Lowell A. Shonk to Board of Directors

by User Not Found | Apr 24, 2013
Rare Element Resources Ltd. (NYSE MKT: REE and TSX: RES) (the "Company") announced today that Lowell A. Shonk, a financial professional with more than 30 years of experience in the mining industry, has joined its Board of Directors as of April 23, 2013 and will serve as the Board's Audit Committee Chair.

Lakewood, Colorado - April 24, 2013 - Rare Element Resources Ltd. (NYSE MKT: REE and TSX: RES) (the "Company") announced today that Lowell A. Shonk, a financial professional with more than 30 years of experience in the mining industry, has joined its Board of Directors as of April 23, 2013 and will serve as the Board's Audit Committee Chair. At the same time, Paul H. Zink, a director since early 2012, has tendered his resignation in order to devote his time to his new position as Chief Executive Officer of Americas Bullion Royalty Corp.

Mr. Shonk has held numerous financial-related positions in the last 30 years in companies in the copper, molybdenum, gold, coal, iron ore, industrial minerals and lithium extractive and processing industries, both domestically and internationally. Mr. Shonk served as Vice President of Financial Operations and Analysis at Phelps Dodge Corporation and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold from 1999 through 2009. Prior to that, he spent 20 years in finance roles, including Controller/Chief Financial Officer for various divisions of Cyprus Amax and its predecessor mining companies. Mr. Shonk is the Vice Chairman of Cupric Canyon Capital LP/LLC ("Cupric"), a private equity company in partnership with Barclays Capital focused on investing in early-stage copper projects worldwide. He served as CEO in 2012 and early 2013 and serves as a director for Hana Mining Co. Ltd., a formerly TSX-listed company that Cupric acquired in 2013. He also serves as Chairman of Eiseb Exploration and Mining, Ltd., a privately owned company 55% owned by Cupric, conducting copper and silver exploration in Namibia. Mr. Shonk has a Masters degree from Colorado School of Mines in Mineral Economics and an MBA from the University of Colorado in Finance and Accounting. He is currently the chairman of the audit committee of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME).

"Lowell is the definition of the modern miner - well versed in geology but, equally important, possessing the financial background to understand what it takes to develop and operate a profitable mine," said Donald E. Ranta, Rare Element's Chairman of the Board. "With his high-level executive mining experience, especially in financing, strategic planning and valuation, we believe he is an excellent addition to the team as we bring the Bear Lodge rare earth project into production."

Mr. Zink tendered his resignation to the Board on April 23, 2013 in order to focus his attention on developing Americas Bullion Royalty Corp., the mining industry's newest royalty company. "We are excited for Paul and the opportunity before him. He has been a valuable contributor to the Board in the past year, and we expect that Americas Bullion will benefit as we did from his experience and insights," concluded Mr. Ranta.

Rare Element Resources Ltd. is a publicly traded mineral resource company focused on exploration and development of rare-earth elements (REEs), with a significant distribution of critical rare earths (CREEs). In addition to the REE exploration and evaluation efforts, the Company controls the Sundance gold project, which is located on the same property in Wyoming.

Neither TSX nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

For additional information please refer to the Company's website at www.rareelementresources.com or contact Robbin Lee, 720-278-2462.

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Bear Lodge Panoramic
Sample Drilling
Core Samples

The Bear Lodge Project area is a significant mineralized district that contains one of the largest disseminated rare earth deposits in North America. This deposit contains many of the less common, more valuable critical rare earths that are essential for electronics, fiber optics, laser systems for health and defense, and many evolving green technologies, such as hybrid cars, solar panels and wind turbines. Rare Element Resources owns 100% of the project and, after completing a positive preliminary feasibility study in 2014, is current working with state and federal regulators to secure the permits and licenses necessary to move the Project toward development. 

Project Highlights

  • Solid Returns with Excellent Upside – the October 2014 PFS shows an after-tax 29% IRR, a NPV of $330 million using a 10% discount and an initial payback period of less than 3 years. It also identified several opportunities for upside including further operating cost reductions with refinement of the Company’s proprietary processing technology, the ability to recover Inferred mineral resource within the pit outline, the current investigation of further separation as a means to participate more fully in the value chain, and the ability to boost revenues by recovering certain by-products.
  • Superior Location – Wyoming is recognized by Canada’s Fraser Institute as one of the world’s top five mining jurisdictions. The site is ideally located near existing infrastructure, has access to low cost power and is generally supported by the local communities, who are well versed in natural resource development.
  • Robust Ore Body – the strength of our mineral resource is demonstrated by a 45 year Project life with a high-grade core that  results in a 2.9 year payback period.
  • Proprietary Technology – continued improvements to the Company’s patent-pending recovery technology have delivered a 99.999% pure, thorium-free TREO concentrate.  Recent work has identified an enhancement to existing separation technology that has produced a number of high purity, separated rare earth products in bench-scale testing.  The process is not only efficient and cost effective but environmentally friendly.  Pilot plant testing was started in July 2015. 
  • Permitting Advancing – the US Forest Service is preparing the Environmental Impact Statement on the site, the draft of which is expect in the second half of 2015.  The Company submitted its applications for key permits and license to the appropriate state and federal agencies in the second quarter of 2015. 
  • Optimization Work – optimization work identified in the PFS is currently being undertaken and will support detailed engineering and the Feasibility Study.