LAKEWOOD, COLORADO -- (Marketwire) -- 03/18/13 -- Rare Element Resources Ltd. (NYSE Amex: REE)(NYSE MKT: REE)(TSX: RES) (the "Company") today announced a 65% increase to its total Measured and Indicated (M&I) rare earth elements (REE) resources estimate at the Bear Lodge Project, from 571 to 944 million pounds of rare earth oxide (REO). The updated NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate includes the first Indicated resource at the HREE- enriched Whitetail Ridge deposit and high grades of Critical Rare Earth Oxides (CREOs) in all deposits.
Randall J. Scott, President and Chief Executive Officer stated "We are extremely pleased with the meaningful increase in our estimated M&I resource at Bear Lodge. Our work in 2012 resulted in a much larger quantity of REE resource, confirmation of the peripheral zones of HREE-enrichment, and highlights the significance of this growing world-class source of CREOs. The increased M&I resource will be incorporated into the upcoming Feasibility Study, which is on schedule to commence in mid-2013."
Critical Rare Earth Oxides (CREO)
Critical rare earth oxides (CREOs) are those with the highest value, and for which the strongest future growth is projected. We refer here to the oxides of Nd, Pr, Eu, Tb, Dy, and Y as CREOs. The resource estimates for the Greater Bull Hill and Whitetail Ridge REE deposits show high grades for all of the CREOs. The Whitetail Ridge deposit is particularly enriched in the HREE component of the CREOs as well as the exploration targets located further to the west.
The updated resource is derived from an REE drill hole database that includes 216 core holes and 16,920 assay samples, completed by the Company between 2008 and the end of 2012. The estimate includes deposits in the Greater Bull Hill area and the HREE-enriched Whitetail Ridge deposit. The drilling indicates significant potential for further expansion of all resources, including additional HREE-enriched resources at the Whitetail Ridge deposit and nearby targets.
The total M&I mineral resources estimate for the Greater Bull Hill + Whitetail Ridge deposits at a cutoff grade of 1.5% REO is summarized in Tables 1 & 2 for the near-surface oxide (OX) and oxide-carbonate (OxCa) zones. The M&I oxide resources for total REO at a range of cutoff grades is given in Table 3. The estimated REE resource in the Indicated category for the HREE-enriched Whitetail Ridge deposit only is summarized in Table 4.
Subject to a Feasibility Study, the data in Table 2 indicate sufficient M&I oxide resources to support the possibility of a 40+ year mine life at the previously published preliminary feasibility study production rate of 1000 tons per day. The resource data in Table 3 indicate that there may be significant enough tonnages of material at higher grades to support an initial higher-grade/lower production mining option with lower capital costs that could transition into full plant design capacity over a period of several years (for example, 6 million tons grading 4.72% REO at a 3% cutoff grade). This option will be considered in the upcoming Feasibility Study, scheduled to commence mid-2013.
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