Rare Element Resources, a mineral resource company advancing development of the Bear Lodge Critical Rare Earth Project in northeast Wyoming, announced that it has joined the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) as an affiliate member.
CMI is a major initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and is recognized as the nation’s premier research, development and deployment institute for critical elements, their alloys and compounds. The CMI team is led by The Ames Laboratory, Ames, IA, and consists of scientists and engineers from four national laboratories, seven universities and six other industry partners. CMI is working to address the issue of criticality with certain rare earths and other elements that it believes might hinder the development and commercialization of clean energy technologies within the United States. CMI has long-term goals of eliminating supply chain fragilities of certain rare earths and other materials, which included diversifying the sources of critical materials.
“CMI has assembled an excellent team with the best and the brightest talents and research platforms in the rare earth field,” said Randall J. Scott, president and chief executive officer. “Working together, we believe the public and private sector can successfully re-establish a complete, domestic rare earth supply chain to eliminate many of the issues relating to our current dependence on foreign sources for the vast majority of U.S. rare earth supplies. Rare Element Resources is pleased to have been invited to join CMI and to have the opportunity to contribute to these efforts and to help build a better tomorrow by ensuring the continued success of clean energy technologies.”
The rare earth elements designated “critical” by the DOE include neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium. Rare Element Resources’ Bear Lodge Project is expected to generate approximately 70 percent of its revenues from these five elements, based on projections in its pre-feasibility study completed in August 2014. The Company has developed proprietary processing technology that has produced a 97+ percent, near-thorium free, total rare earth concentrate in multiple pilot plant tests. Bear Lodge is the most advanced rare earth development project in the United States. The U.S. Forest Service is currently developing an Environment Impact Statement on the Project with the draft expected in the first quarter of 2015.
See CMI’s website at https://cmi.ameslab.gov/ for additional details on its mission and members.