VANCOUVER, Feb. 15 /CNW/ - Rare Element Resources Ltd (TSX-V: RES) announces that rare-earth exploration drilling at the Company's Bear Lodge, Wyoming property will recommence in the spring. Weather and drill availability will determine the final startup date. The objective of Rare Element Resources' activities is to define a rare-earth resource at Bear Lodge.
Drilling Program: The Company's four priority rare-earth targets at Bear Lodge are outlined in the 2 May 2006 news release, which is posted on the Company's website. The first four core holes of the initial 2007 drill program, for 1,360 metres of drilling, will provide data to confirm the historical Hecla Mining Company rare-earth discoveries at the Southwest Bull Hill target. The next two holes of the initial program, for 680 metres of drilling, will test the new Northwest Bull Hill target. In 1989 at the Northwest Bull Hill target area, Hecla drill-hole WP-2 returned high-grade assays averaging 9.56% total rare-earth oxides over 56.4 metres of rare-earth-bearing oxidized iron-manganese material and 5.65% total rare-earth oxides over 24.2 metres of rare-earth-bearing non-oxidized carbonatite material; however, Hecla did not follow up with additional drilling.
Metallurgical Studies: Confirmation drilling at the Southwest Bull Hill target has been moved ahead, to the beginning of the 2007 program, in order to collect additional metallurgical test material, which is needed to continue studies of this known area of rare-earth mineralization. Due to insufficient sample, flotation tests conducted in 2006 were unable to continue beyond the first stage of physical concentration. The next test series requires at least 150 kilograms of new material. The Company's 9 November 2005 news release, also posted on the Company's website, reports initial metallurgical testing, with a distribution of rare-earth elements present in Bear Lodge samples.
Acquisition Program: Rare Element Resources continues to seek, and negotiate for additional property acquisitions. Preferred targets are advanced North American gold and strategic-metals properties.
Rare Element Resources Ltd (TSX-V:RES) is a publicly traded mineral-resource company focused on gold and strategic metals such as the rare-earth elements. M H Staatz, the author of US Geological Survey Professional Paper 1049D, stated that the area of the Rare Element Resources' Bear Lodge rare-earth property in northeast Wyoming is the largest disseminated rare-earth occurrence in North America. The Company's property was explored from 1987 through 1991 by the Hecla Mining Company, which defined a historical resource of 4.3 million tons grading 3.79% total rare-earth oxides at the Southwest Bull Hill target (9 Nov 2005 news release lists distribution of individual rare-earth elements present). This Hecla resource estimate is historical and was prepared before the introduction of National Instrument 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101"). The estimate may not be relied upon until it is confirmed using methods and standards that comply with those required by NI 43-101. Investors are cautioned that a qualified person has not completed sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as a current mineral resource. Neither the Company nor its personnel treats this resource as a current mineral resource as defined under NI 43-101, nor do they rely upon it for evaluation purposes.
Rare-earth elements have been called "catalysts for high-tech living." They are required for many new technologies, including nickel-metal-hydride batteries and the motors, generators and batteries used in hybrid cars. The US market for REE's exceeds US$1 billion, with most supplied by China. It is the Company's goal, through the exploration and, if warranted, development of the Bear Lodge property, to become an important North American source of rare-earth elements.
The Bear Lodge property also has potential for gold exploration. The surface geology, which exposes the upper levels of a mineralized alkaline-igneous intrusive complex, is similar to that of the intrusive complex that hosts the Cripple Creek, Colorado, gold deposits. Gold exploration has identified numerous gold geochemical anomalies and gold occurrences in igneous breccia bodies (see Rare Element Resources' news release of 18 Jan 2007, posted on the Company's website).
Paso Rico (USA) Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Rare Element Resources and Newmont North America Exploration Limited, a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation (Newmont), have entered into a gold-exploration venture on the Company's Bear Lodge property. Newmont has the right to earn a 65% working interest in Rare Element Resources' Bear Lodge property, excluding any rights to the rare-earth elements and uranium but including rights to gold and other metals, by performing US$5 million in property work expenditures over a five-year period. Newmont also has the right to earn an additional 15% working interest by completing a positive project feasibility study.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
William H Bird, PhD, PGeo
President & CEO
William H. Bird, PhD, PGeo, serves the Board of Directors of the Company as an internal, technically Qualified Person. Technical information in this news release has been prepared in accordance with Canadian regulatory requirements set out in National Instrument 43-101 and reviewed by Dr Bird. This news release was prepared by Company management, who take full responsibility for content. The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.