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Rare Element Resources Implements Extensive Cost Cutting Measures

by User Not Found | Dec 17, 2015
Rare Element Resources implements cost cutting measures.

Will Continue to Trade in U.S. but will Voluntarily Delist from Toronto Stock Exchange

 December 17, 2015 – Lakewood, Colorado – Rare Element Resources Ltd. (the “Company”) (NYSE MKT: REE and TSX: RES), a publicly traded, strategic materials company focused on delivering rare earth products for technology and defense applications by advancing the Bear Lodge Critical Rare Earth Project located in northeast Wyoming, announced today that its board of directors has approved additional steps aimed at reducing its on-going cash expenditures in light of prolonged weak market conditions and continued delays in the preparation of the Project’s draft environmental impact statement (DEIS). The cash-conservation programs include significant staff reductions, consolidation of facilities, sale of non-essential equipment and assets, as well as delisting its common shares from the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”).

The Company has applied for voluntary delisting from the TSX and expects to delist its common shares from the TSX on or about December 31, 2015.  The Company intends to continue the listing of its common shares on NYSE MKT under the ticker “REE”. The Company decided to take this action after considering on-going costs and expenses, both direct and indirect, associated with having its common shares listed on the TSX, and the limited share trading volume on the TSX relative to its share volume on the NYSE MKT, which is where the vast majority of its common shares are traded.  

“We strongly believe in the strategic importance of the Bear Lodge Project and its obvious role as a cornerstone to re-establishing a domestic rare earth supply chain,” said Randall J. Scott, President and CEO.  “Unfortunately, the rare earth market continues to suffer from many of the short-term issues impacting the greater global resource market.  When one couples this with continued uncertainty around the timing and the final requirements of our DEIS, taking these cost-cutting steps is the right business decision for our shareholders. We are hoping to retain the talents of our impacted employees, with many of them having agreed to remain available for consulting work as needed. 

"These measures are intended to position us to be able to move the Project forward expeditiously when conditions improve, while allowing us in the interim to pursue permitting and strategic alternatives like off-take agreements, joint ventures or potential mergers.” 

Rare Element Resources Ltd. is a publicly traded, strategic materials company focused on delivering rare earth products for technology and defense applications by advancing the Bear Lodge Critical Rare Earth Project 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 continues to advance.  The Company is an affiliate member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute, a combined government and private sector organization committed to eliminating supply chain issues for rare earths and other critical elements.

Please contact Robbin Lee at 720-278-2462, or rlee@rareelementresources.com, for additional information.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities legislation in the United States and Canada.  Except for statements of historical fact, certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements are usually identified by our use of certain terminology, including “will,” “believes,” “may,” “expects,” “should,” “seeks,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “has potential to,” or “intends,” or by discussions of strategy or intentions.  Such forward-looking statements include statements regarding the Company’s plans to delist its common shares from the TSX and the timing thereof, its plans to continue trading on the NYSE MKT, its intent to pursue possible strategic alternatives, the Company’s planned cost-cutting measures as well as any impact to the Company from such cost cutting measures.  Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, regulatory matters; the future price of our common shares, which will be dependent on such matters as the progress of our Bear Lodge Project, fluctuations in demand for, and price of, rare earth products, and the success of process technology under testing; timing of any unexpected events at the Bear Lodge property; delay or failure to receive government approvals and permits; changes in U.S. and Canadian securities markets; and general economic conditions.  There can be no assurance that future developments affecting the Company will be those anticipated by management.  Please refer to the discussion of these and other uncertainties and risk factors set out in our filings made from time to time with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian regulators, including, without limitation, our reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q.  We expect that the above estimates will change as new information is received and that actual results will vary from these estimates, possibly by material amounts.  While we may elect to update our forward-looking information at any time, we do not undertake to update at any particular time or in response to any particular event.  Investors and others should not assume that any forecasts in this press release represent management’s estimate as of any date other than the date of this press release.

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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.