NI43-101Pre-Feasibility Study Report - page 45

Rare Element Resources
Bear Lodge Project
Canadian NI 43-101 Technical Report
October 9
, 2014
10135-200-46 – Rev. 0
The Bear Lodge Project is located in northeast Wyoming, in a world-class mineralized
district rich in the critical rare earths essential for electronics, high-strength permanent
magnets, fiber optics, laser systems, and evolving green energy technologies. The
Company controls 100% of the mining rights in the Project area.
The Bear Lodge Project consists of three principal components: 1) the small open-pit
mine operation at the Bull Hill and Whitetail Ridge deposits and associated support
facilities, located approximately 12 miles (19 kilometers) by road north of Sundance,
Wyoming; 2) a physical upgrading (PUG) plant for mineral pre-concentration located
adjacent to the mine; and 3) a hydrometallurgical (Hydromet) plant, located near
Upton, Wyoming, for further concentration of the rare earth elements into a mixed
TREO concentrate. The Upton site is approximately 40 miles (64 kilometers) south
from the Bull Hill Mine site and is accessible by existing county and state roads. The
site is also adjacent to an active transcontinental rail line, which will allow for easy
delivery of processing equipment during construction and supplies during operations,
as well as delivery of the final product to customers. The expected Project life is 45
years, using the current mineral reserves.
Mining at Bull Hill is planned as a small, conventional truck and shovel, open-pit
operation that accesses near-surface mineralization. Mining will be selective to
recover high-grade ores from the Bull Hill deposit first to maximize early cash flows
and accelerate the payback of capital. Mining will align with the processing capacity,
which is planned at an average rate of 220,000 tons (199,600 tonnes) per year in
years 1 – 9, increasing to an average rate of 366,000 tons (332,000 tonnes) per year
in years 10 – 38. The processing of ore from low-grade stockpiles is expected to
continue in years 39 – 45. Waste rock will be stored at an adjacent waste rock
facility, located on private land, and reclaimed and re-contoured concurrently with
mine operations. The Inferred resource already delineated within the pit boundaries
has the ability to improve economic returns.
In years 1 – 9, the PUG plant is scheduled to process high-grade ore, expected to
average 4.7% TREO. In years 10 – 45, the mining rate will increase as the grade
drops toward the expected LOM average of 2.8%. The increase in production rate is
planned to coincide with the start of processing mid-grade and Whitetail Ridge ores.
The PUG plant is designed to use a combination of crushing, screening, and gravity
separation, depending on the ore type being treated, to reduce the physical mass of
the ore by reducing gangue and concentrating the rare earth-bearing fines for
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