More Rare Earth Oxides Found In North America

There could be more North American-sourced rare earth metals in our EVs in the future.

Rare Element Resources Ltd. announced a 65-percent 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 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.”

The company said critical rare earth oxides (CREOs) are those with the highest value, and for which the strongest future growth is projected. The oxides referred to here are 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.

REEs are key components of the green energy technologies and other high-technology applications. Some of the major applications include hybrid automobiles, plug-in electric automobiles, but also advanced wind turbines, computer hard drives, compact fluorescent light bulbs, metal alloys in steel, additives in ceramics and glass, petroleum cracking catalysts, and many others. Rare earths are critical metals for what we qualify today as green technologies.