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Rare Element Resources Joins the Critical Materials Institute – A Department of Energy Initiative to Help Ensure a Secure Rare Earth Supply for Evolving Clean Energy Technologies

by User Not Found | Sep 08, 2014
Rare Element Resources is asked to join the Critical Materials Institute (CMI). CMI is a Department of Energy initiative to help ensure a secure rare earth supply for evolving clean energy technologies.

September 8, 2014 – Lakewood, Colorado - Rare Element Resources Ltd. (the “Company”)(NYSE MKT: REE and TSX: RES), a mineral resource company advancing development of the Bear Lodge Critical Rare Earth Project (the “Project”) located in northeast Wyoming, is pleased to announce that it has joined the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) as an affiliate member.  CMI is a major initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and is recognized as the nation’s premier research, development and deployment institute for critical elements, their alloys and compounds.  The CMI team is led by The Ames Laboratory, Ames, Iowa, and consists of scientists and engineers from four national laboratories, seven universities and six other industry partners.  CMI is working to address the issue of criticality with certain rare earths and other elements that it believes might hinder the development and commercialization of clean energy technologies within the United States.  CMI has long-term goals of eliminating supply chain fragilities of certain rare earths and other materials, which included diversifying the sources of critical materials.  

“CMI has assembled an excellent team with the best and the brightest talents and research platforms in the rare earth field,” said Randall J. Scott, President and Chief Executive Officer.  “Working together, we believe the public and private sector can successfully re-establish a complete, domestic rare earth supply chain to eliminate many of the issues relating to our current dependence on foreign sources for the vast majority of U.S. rare earth supplies.  Rare Element Resources is pleased to have been invited to join CMI and to have the opportunity to contribute to these efforts and to help build a better tomorrow by ensuring the continued success of clean energy technologies.”

The rare earth elements designated “critical” by the DOE include neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium.  Rare Element Resources’ Bear Lodge Project is expected to generate approximately 70% of its revenues from these five elements, based on projections in its pre-feasibility study completed in August 2014.  The Company has developed proprietary processing technology that has produced a 97+%, near-thorium free, total rare earth concentrate in multiple pilot plant tests.  Bear Lodge is the most advanced rare earth development project in the United States.  The U.S. Forest Service is currently developing an Environment Impact Statement on the Project with the draft expected in the first quarter of 2015.  

Please see CMI’s website at https://cmi.ameslab.gov/ for additional details on its mission and members.

Rare Element Resources Ltd. is a publicly traded mineral resource company focused on exploration and development of rare-earth element deposits, specifically those with significant distribution of critical rare earths.  The Company is advancing development of the Bear Lodge Project, located in northeast Wyoming.  Bear Lodge is a significant mineralized district containing many of the less common, more valuable critical rare earths that are essential for electronics, fiber optics, laser systems for health and defense, as well as many evolving green technologies, like hybrid cars, solar panels and wind turbines. Permitting and feasibility work on the Project continue to advance. 

For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at www.rareelementresources.com or contact Robbin Lee at 720-278-2462 or rlee@rareelementresources.com.

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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.