Rare Element Resources Ltd. announced that it has submitted applications for two key permits necessary to mine and recover rare earth elements as the next step in the permitting process at it Bear Lodge Mine in northeast Wyoming. The mine permit application, which was submitted to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality - Land Quality Division (WDEQ-LQD) on June 3, 2015, will allow Rare Element Resources to operate the mining and processing facilities associated with the Bear Lodge Project. The company received notice from the WDEQ-LQD on June 8, 2015 that the application was deemed to be “complete” and that the 150-day technical review period has begun. In addition, the company submitted a license application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to possess source material on May 5, 2015. Having this license will allow for the recovery of rare earths and the possession of small quantities of thorium and uranium that are incidental to the recovery of rare earth elements. Rare Element Resources plans to regularly dispose of the source material at a licensed disposal facility. The NRC has notified the company that their 90-day license acceptance review process officially started on May 26, 2015.
“Submitting these very important permit applications continues to advance the Bear Lodge Project and put us on a direct path towards completion of the regulatory requirements for permitting,” said Jaye T. Pickarts, Chief Operating Officer. “Both the NRC and WDEQ-LQD have indicated they expect the timing of their permit approvals will align with the expected completion by the U.S. Forest Service of the final environmental impact statement and receipt of the final record of decision in late summer 2016. While other state, federal and local government permits and approvals will be required, the data gathered and work done for these two principal applications will form the foundation for the remaining applications. The progress we continue to make in permitting and the innovations we have made with our separation technology make Bear Lodge one of the most advanced rare earth projects in the industry. We look forward to assuming our role as a cornerstone in the re-establishment of a reliable, long-term North American rare earth supply chain.”