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Rare Element Resources Completes Summer Condemnation Drilling and Geotechnical Work at the Bear Lodge Proposed Physical Upgrade Plant Site

by User Not Found | Oct 07, 2015
Rare Element Resources completes summer condemnation drilling and geotechnical work at the Bear Lodge proposed physical upgrade plant site

October 7, 2015 – Lakewood, Colorado – Rare Element Resources Ltd. (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 that it has completed the 2015 condemnation drill program at the planned physical upgrade plant (PUG) site for the Bear Lodge Project.  The program consisted of six reverse circulation drill holes for a total of 3,000 feet and geotechnical work that included six shallow holes and three test pits in the area of the PUG.  The drill program confirmed the absence of meaningful mineralized material under the site while the geotechnical program identified the characteristics of the soils for foundation design as part of detailed engineering.  Both programs help progress the design of the site and related mine infrastructure.  

“Our summer program complements engineering work that we did in 2012 and provides important confirmatory information on our new, proposed PUG site,” said Jaye T. Pickarts, Chief Operating Officer.  “Over the last two years we have studied ways to minimize the environmental footprint of the PUG on public lands.  We have successfully modified the location and have reduced the PUG footprint by about one-third. The summer program confirms our understanding of the area geology and ensures that the location of the PUG will not interfere with accessing the valuable rare earth elements found at the proposed mine site.”  Macroscopic investigation of the drill cuttings reveals a continuation of strong alteration in the host rock but with minimal veining and overall low potential for rare earth mineralization.  Final assays of the drilling are expected before the end of the year.  

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 drilling and geotechnical work, anticipated timing and outcome of our federal, state and local permitting efforts, and overall progress of the Bear Lodge Project.  Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results or achievements to be materially different from any future results or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, the progress of our Bear Lodge Project, fluctuations in demand for, and price of, rare earth products; success of process technology under testing; timing of and unexpected events at the Bear Lodge property; delay or failure to receive government approvals and permits; changes in U.S. and Canadian securities markets; our ability to obtain financing 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 risk factors as set out in our filings made from time-to-time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian securities regulators, including without limitation, the Company’s most recent reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. We do not undertake to update any statements or estimates at any particular time or in response to any particular event, other than in accordance with applicable law.  Investors and other should not assume that any forecasts in this news release represent management’s estimates as of any date other than the date of this news 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.