LAKEWOOD, COLORADO -- (Marketwired) -- 06/13/13 -- Rare Element Resources Ltd. (NYSE MKT: REE)(TSX: RES), a mineral resources company advancing development of the Bear Lodge Critical Rare Earth Project is pleased to announce commencement of the 2013 development drilling program at the heavy rare earth oxide (HREO)-enriched Whitetail Ridge resource area.
"This year's drilling program is smaller and more focused than in previous years," stated Dr. James Clark, Vice President of Exploration. "Our understanding of the geology at Bear Lodge has grown significantly over the last two years, driving the growth we have seen in the resource. To maximize the return on our drilling investment, we will focus on Whitetail Ridge, where we have the potential to add more than one million tons of HREO-enriched material to the Bear Lodge resource with 10,000 feet of drilling. By adding resource with higher HREO content, including key critical rare earths, there is an opportunity to have a positive impact on the economics of the Project. Several of the HREOs are higher-valued elements that we expect to experience better demand growth and price support over the longer term."
Two drill rigs have commenced drilling at Whitetail Ridge with the goal of:
-- Upgrading a significant block of the current Inferred resource to the Measured and Indicated (M&I) classification in order to define a mineable pit for inclusion in the Feasibility Study, scheduled to commence later this year; and-- Expanding the block of high-grade resource identified within the Whitetail Ridge deposit, currently 0.51 million tons (0.46 million tonnes) grading 4.1% of total rare earth oxides (TREO) at a 3.0% TREO cutoff grade.
The Whitetail Ridge resource area currently contains an Indicated resource of 2.25 million tons (2.0 million tonnes) at a grade of 2.61% TREO and an Inferred resource of 8.0 million tons (7.3 million tonnes) grading 2.82% TREO, both at a cutoff grade of 1.5% TREO. The Indicated resource has a distribution that contains 7.6% HREO, compared with 3.6% HREO in the M&I resource at the adjacent Bull Hill deposit. HREO include Europium (Eu), Terbium (Tb), Dysprosium (Dy), and Yttrium (Y), which are also considered critical rare earths as defined by the US Department of Energy, as well as Gadolinium (Gd), Holmium (Ho), Erbium (Er), Thulium (Tm), Ytterbium (Yb) and Lutetium (Lu).
Geological activities, in addition to the 10,000 feet (3,050 meters) drilling program, will include geological mapping and soil and rock chip geochemical surveys.
Rare Element Resources Ltd. is a publicly traded mineral resource company focused on exploration and development of rare-earth element deposits, specifically those with significant distribution of critical rare earths. The Company is advancing development of the Bear Lodge Project, located 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 is currently underway.