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Rare Element Resources provides an update on plans for a Demonstration Scale Rare Earth Processing and Separation Plant

by Rare Element Resources | Aug 19, 2020

Plant to utilize proprietary technology to produce commercial grade Nd/Pr high-purity oxide for U.S. rare earth magnet production 

August 19, 2020 – Littleton, Colorado – Rare Element Resources Ltd. (“RER” or the “Company”) (OTCQB: REEMF) is pleased to provide an update on the pilot scale rare earth processing and separation test work campaign which supports the Company’s progression to the next phase of design and planning for a demonstration scale rare earth processing and separation plant. This plant is intended to demonstrate, at industrial scale, the separation of rare earth elements utilizing the Company’s proprietary intellectual property in preparation for the commercial phase.

Since February 2019, Umwelt-und Ingenieurtechnik GmbH Dresden (“UIT”), an affiliate of Synchron, a significant shareholder in the Company and a General Atomics affiliated company, has operated a hydrometallurgical pilot plant in Germany utilizing ore from the Company’s Bear Lodge Project in Wyoming. Using the Company’s technology, UIT processed 1.1 tonnes of ore, with an average grade of approximately 10% total rare earth oxide (TREO), to produce 13.6 kg of neodymium/praseodymium (Nd/Pr) oxide at commercial grade. This represents an average Nd/Pr recovery rate of 89.5%. Lanthanum (La) oxide, and a mixed mid and heavy rare earth concentrate were also recovered. The Company’s innovative patented process was further optimized and involves significantly fewer steps in a closed cycle with attendant environmental benefits and expected lower operating and capital costs compared with current technologies.

Throughout 2020, UIT will continue conducting additional pilot plant test work to further optimize the separation processes and the development of scale-up design criteria for the demonstration plant along with development of operating and capital cost estimates. To date, UIT has completed the leach-precipitation phase of the campaign, has started the solvent extraction (SX) separation phase, and is anticipated to complete its work by the end of the year.

The demonstration plant will process the already stockpiled high-grade ore, approximately 900 tonnes, from Wyoming’s Bear Lodge Project. The Company anticipates, once funding is secured, the demonstration plant design will be finalized and followed by construction within a period of 18-24 months.  Operations to process and separate rare-earth-elements from the stockpiled ore will follow in an additional 12-month period.  

Randall Scott, President and CEO of RER stated “We are pleased that over the last several months, the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of Energy have announced significant funding initiatives to advance domestic rare earth production as well as rare earth-containing permanent magnet manufacturing. The overwhelming dependence of the U.S. and allied nations on China as the principal rare earths producer and supplier is comparable with Chinese dominance of the medical supply chain that has been highlighted by the COVID-19 global crisis. America’s dependence on Chinese rare earths poses a grave economic, energy, and technology threat and must be urgently addressed. We are pleased that our government has recognized this. It is our goal to play a key part in these initiatives to bring rare earth production to the U.S.” 

Synchron, UIT and General Atomics are privately held companies engaged in the development and production of advanced technology products and systems for the energy and defense sectors. 

Rare Element Resources Ltd. is a publicly traded, strategic materials company focused on delivering rare earth products for technology, energy 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 high-strength permanent magnets, electronics, fiber optics, laser systems for health and defense, as well as many technologies like electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines.  

Please contact Randy Scott at +1 720-278-2460 or rscott@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 impact of the proprietary process on costs and efficiencies of rare earth processing and separation, the timing and scope of further pilot plant test work and potential demonstration plant, and the potential for government funding initiatives to be realized or its potential impact on the Company or Bear Lodge Project.  Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, results of continued processing test work, ability to obtain demonstration plant licensing and funding, successful further permitting activities for the Bear Lodge Project, availability of sufficient capital, and other matters discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, and our other periodic and current reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and available on www.sec.gov and with the Canadian securities commissions available on www.sedar.com. 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 SEC and the Canadian regulators, including, without limitation, our reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. Any forward-looking statement made by us in this news release is based only on information currently available to us and speaks only as of the date on which it is made.  While we may elect to update our forward-looking statements at any time, we undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

Rare Element Resources
Fact Sheet

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Rare Element Resources
Technology Fact Sheet

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Most Recent Presentation
The MoneyShow Orlando

October 30, 2023

Money Show Orlando - October 2023

Technical Report Summary on Bear Lodge REE Project

Updated Mineral Resource for Bear Lodge Focused on Key Magnet Materials


Open House – October 09, 2023

State and community leaders joined Senator Barrasso, Neal Blue and Brent Berg with the ceremonial groundbreaking shovel

Ceremonial groundbreaking with Senator Barrasso, state and community leaders, Neal Blue (GA) and Brent Berg (RER) 

The Company and General Atomics (GA), supported by state and community leaders, celebrated a ceremonial groundbreaking for their rare earth demonstration plant.

The presentation at the Open House made by Mr. Berg can be found here.

For a summary of the event, please click here.

Please click here to see a video replay from the Newcastle News Letter Journal of the event.

CEO Corner

Commentary from Kelli Kast,
Interim President, CEO and Director

Continuing Our Progress

As I step into the role of Interim President and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) for the coming weeks, I do so with confidence that we will seamlessly continue on the path the Board has set for us of progressing construction of the demonstration plant toward operations this summer, and in continuing to build awareness of the Company, the Bear Lodge Project, and the importance of establishing a secure domestic rare earth supply chain.

Please click here to read full content

Please click here to see appointed President and CEO Ken Mushinski's bio

Demo Plant Construction Update (4/9/24)

Interior Improvements at the Upton plant site

Interior Work Preparing for Skids

Utilities upgrades at the Upton site are mostly complete. Building renovations are progressing in preparation for the arrival of the first skid of processing equipment, expected in late April, with others to follow throughout the month of May.

World-Class Technology Partner

General Atomics Fact Sheet
In 2017, an affiliate of General Atomics, one of the largest, most advanced technology companies in the world, took an equity position in Rare Element Resources.  Since that time, they have brought the full force of their technology development team enhance the Company's recovery/separation technology.
To learn more about General Atomics Click Here

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 rare earths that are essential for the magnet materials used in 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. 

During the last few years, the Company, along General Atomics, whose affiliate is RER's majority shareholder, have been advancing their proprietary extraction/separation technology and have successfully produced commercial-grade neodymium/praseodymium (Nd/Pr) oxide in pilot-plant testing.  These materials are key components to the fast-growing, permanent magnet sector. The next step will be operations of a demonstration plant, which is currently under construction in Upton, WY.  Results generated from operating this plant will be used for the design and economic evaluation of a commercial rare earth processing facility. 

Project Highlights

  • Proprietary Rare Earth Extraction/Separation Technology – Successfully advanced the Company’s technology and produced neodymium/praseodymium (Nd/Pr) oxide in pilot-plant testing. Construction of a demonstration plant is currently underway to prove the scalability of the process and define the requirements for a commercial plant.
  • World-Class Technology Partner and Majority Shareholder – General Atomics, through its affiliate, is the majority shareholder in Rare Element Resources, is a technology leader with a proven track record of bringing new ideas to market.  Their understanding of the strategic role rare earths play in numerous advancing technologies makes them keenly aware of the need for a secure, domestic supply of rare earths. Their relationship within the U.S. Government have been essential to our ability to advance our technology.
  • Bear Lodge Project – Well-defined resource with excellent concentrations of the rare earth elements essential to high-strength, permanent magnets and the many industries that depend on them.  Two of those industries, electric vehicles and wind turbines, are expected to drive a doubling of demand for magnet materials in the next 10 years.
  • Strategic Location – Located in northeast Wyoming, the Bear Lodge Project has easy access to a major interstate, transcontinental rail, natural gas and low-power.  The area has existing infrastructure with a ready and skilled workforce.  The State of Wyoming has a rich history of mineral development and a pro-business focus, and its leaders are actively committed to economic diversification. 
  • Strong Federal and State Support – Both the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Wyoming Energy Authority (WEA) have shown their support for the Project through funding of over $26M for the demonstration plant.  The DOE continues to pursue ways to secure sources for material that will be key to industrial needs, especially those that support the country’s initiative of reducing carbon emissions, like electric vehicles and wind turbines. The WEA is supporting the State’s desire to diversify employment and understands that Wyoming can play a key role in developing a domestic supply chain – from minerals to magnets.