WYOMING - Canadian owner Rare Element Resources of Vancouver is moving toward defining a commercial process for rare earth element (REE) concentration from oxide samples from hits Bear Lodge property near Sundance in the northeast corner of the state. Tests on a large sample of near-surface high-grade oxide mineralization have been favourable.
The tests included preconcentration followed by leaching. Scrubbing and attritioning in water resulted in a preconcentrate with a recovery of approximately 90% and a grade up to 20% rare earth oxide (REO). The REO is present in the finer fraction of the material. Agitated hydrochloric acid leaching of the preconcentrate gave a recovery of 80-85% of the total REO. The same general proportions of elements were present in the leached material as in the original REO samples.
Rare Element said the current testing program is designed to take advantage of the unique mode of mineral occurrence of the REE mineralization. The mineralization is characterized by fine-grained REE minerals that variably adhere to the surfaces of the coarser gangue minerals. The REE minerals in oxide mineralization from the resource area are nearly all from the bastnasite group (in decreasing order of abundance: synchysite, parisite, and bastnasite, with generally minor monazite).
The Bear Lodge property contains 7.25 million tonnes of oxide resources averaging 3.6% REO.
For details of the testing, see the news release of Aug. 18, 2010, available at the company's website, www.RareElementResources.com.