LAKEWOOD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rare Element Resources Ltd. (NYSE MKT: REE and TSX: RES), a mineral resources company advancing development of the Bear Lodge Critical Rare Earth Project, announced today that it has filed a utility patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office that combines its initial provisional patent on the “Rare Earth Element Extraction” process technology, filed in January 2013, with its “Extraction of Thorium from Rare Earth Compounds and Related Methods” provisional patent, filed in November 2013. Collectively, this extraction technology enhances the recovery of rare earth elements from ores mined from the Company’s Bear Lodge Project in northeast Wyoming, improving the efficiency of the process and isolating the thorium for easy and safe third-party disposal.
“The pilot plant test work completed this past year confirmed our ability to scale up the patent-pending process and validated its success at selectively precipitating the rare earths found in the Bear Lodge ore, producing a 97%-pure rare earth concentrate,” stated Jaye Pickarts, Chief Operating Officer. “Additionally, the ability to selectively isolate and economically remove thorium means that we will be able to provide a safe and value-added product to our customers. Our test work also identified several other opportunities to both lower operating costs and generate additional revenues, including optimizing reagent use, possible byproduct recovery and downstream elemental separation, which we are currently studying.”
The utility patent, entitled “Extraction of Metals from Metallic Compounds” was filed by Rare Element Resources Ltd. on January 18, 2014. Dr. Henry Kasaini, Director of Science and Technology for Rare Element Resources, is named as inventor on the patent. Past and present pilot plant test work is being conducted at SGS Lakefield Canada under the supervision and oversight of Dr. Kasaini. The pilot plant work undertaken in 2013 focused on confirmation of the flow sheet for the beneficiation of Bear Lodge ore. The work was conducted over a four-week period at a production scale of 240kg/day. Additional optimization work has been ongoing since the initial pilot testing was concluded.
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.
Jaye T Pickarts, P.E., Rare Element's internal, qualified person under Canadian NI 43-101, supervised the preparation of the scientific and technical information concerning the Company's mineral project and process contained in this news release. For a description of the key assumptions, parameters and methods used in the testing discussed in this release, as well as data verification procedures and a general discussion of the extent to which the estimates may be affected by any known environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing or other relevant factors, please see the Technical Reports for our project as filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
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 processing test work, advancements and expected results, permitting process and progress, and project development plans for the future. 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; 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 factors set out in our filings made from time to time with the SEC and Canadian regulators, including but without limitation, our reports on Form 10-K and Form 10Q. We expect that the above estimates as to development plans, technology and other processes, time frames and financial needs will change as new information is received and that actual results will vary from these estimates, possibly by material amounts. While we may elect to update these estimates at any time, we do not undertake to update any estimate at any particular time or in response to any particular event. Investors and others should not assume that any forecasts in this press release represent management's estimate as of any date other than the date of this press release.