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Butler Resource Corp. Plans to Make its Mark with Rare Earth Elements

Butler Resource Corp.’s acquisition of the Archie Lake Rare Earth Property last September signaled a new direction for a company after being essentially dormant for some time. Under the leadership of its new President, Peter Dickie, Butler has decided to concentrate its efforts on the exploration and development of rare earth element properties, starting with Archie Lake, where assay results described in historic government reports have shown up 15.7% RE2O3 and 2.31% Thorium from a main tested zone traced for 600m on surface. The Archie Lake Property is located 50 kilometres east of Uranium City, Saskatchewan and 50 km south of Great Western Minerals’ Hoidas Lake REE Deposit. Following on the heels of Archie Lake, several other acquisitions now in the works should make investors stand up and definitely take notice. To emphasize its new direction, Butler will be changing its name to Quantum Rare Earth Developments Corp. We spoke with Peter Dickie about his plans for Butler as he took time out from volunteering at the Winter Olympics.

Resource Intelligence: Can you give us a brief history on Butler and how it got here?
Peter Dickie: Butler is a Company that I became involved with just over a year ago. At that time, it had just completed an 8:1 consolidation, and was in need of a project of merit in order to regain a listing on the TSX Venture Exchange (it was trading on the NEX, due to lack of a qualifying property). As a Company, we spent considerable time and effort in trying to obtain suitable properties in several areas of South America, in particular Colombia, where we have a good network of individuals who can provide advice on acquisitions and the merits of properties we were investigating. After several attempts to conclude property acquisitions in Colombia, all of which were being frustrated due to time and financial considerations, we were presented with the opportunity to acquire the Archie Lake Rare Earth property. On investigating both the Archie Lake property and the rare-earth market segment, we realized this was an ideal situation for the Company. We discovered that the Archie Lake property was at one time listed by the US Geological survey in the top 10 undeveloped rare-earth deposits in North America, and we also began to realize the limited number of players in the rare-earth segment were going to fall far short of upcoming demand due to the rapid growth in all industries that utilize rare-earth commodities.

RI: There seems to be a lot more interest in Rare Earth Elements in the past few years. What was the attraction for Butler to get involved in these kinds of resources? 
PD: As more people are learning, China currently accounts for over 90 percent of production of the so-called rare earth elements - and more than 99 percent of the output for two of these elements, dysprosium and terbium, which are vital for a wide range of green energy technologies and military applications. According to TechNewsDaily, China has encouraged companies that use rare earths to locate their manufacturing facilities in the country. However some companies fear moving because of concerns about intellectual property protection. Deposits of rare earth elements exist in the United States, Canada and other countries, but only China’s government supports the mining and refining industries capable of processing the resources from start to finish. So we believe that the demand will continue to grow and economically mineable deposits will become more valuable.

RI: Can you give us some details on the Archie Lake Property?
PD: Well, the Archie Lake Rare Earth Element Property consists of one mineral claim covering an area of 2,108 hectares and is located 50 kilometres east of Uranium City, Saskatchewan and 50 km south of Great Western Minerals’ Hoidas Lake REE Deposit. We acquired the property for a total of $40,000 and 2,000,000 shares, payable on Exchange approval. The property is subject to a 2% NSR, of which one half (1%) may be purchased back for $1,000,000. Historic exploration and results on the property returned significant concentrations of Rare Earth Elements (REEs). Assessment reports (not NI43-101 compliant) filed with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Mines in February 1971 provide a summary of historic exploration work on the area. The Archie Lake property does not have reserves on it, as it has never been drilled. However, it has some very promising surface numbers on a structure that has been traced for over 600 hundred meters.
Actual exploration work on the property includes an airborne radiometric survey and follow-up prospecting and trenching over one of the anomalies identified. The main showing is believed to be a paleo-placer type deposit, with monazite crystals making up as much as 50% of the rock in some places. The assay reports from the previous exploration showed that ten samples analyzed by spectrographic analysis showed elevated concentrations of Rare Earth Oxides. Values ranged from 0.1 to 15.7% RE2O3 and averaged 4.04% RE2O3. The concentration of individual rare-earth elements, ranging from highest to lowest are in the following order: lanthanum, cerium, gadolinium, lutetium, terbium and ytterbium, with trace amounts of scandium and yttrium.

RI: So what sort of work have you done on the property so far?
PD: During early October 2009, approximately 250 metres of the mineralized zone was covered by the field crew as part of the fall 2009 exploration program. A total of 36 rock samples were collected from six historic trenches and one small blast pit at the property and these were sent to Acme Analytical in Vancouver for whole rock and trace element analysis with rare earths determined using ICP-MS. Check analyses were performed by AGAT Laboratories Ltd. in Mississauga ON, and the Saskatchewan Research Council in Saskatoon, SK using an ICP-OES method which is capable of achieving higher detection limits, on a subset of the original 36 samples.

Several trenches to the northwest, with historic mineralization reported, were not visited but the potential to extend the zone, and trace the mineralization over several hundred metres appears to be a strong possibility. The mineralized horizon ranges to widths of six metres which was evident in one trench but it hasn’t been tested at depths beyond the surface blasted trenches.
Our 2009 exploration focused on re-sampling historic trenches and they didn’t spend much time tracing the mineralization between the trenches. Further evaluation is required however, indications for persistent mineralization are considered very good, as the analysis of several samples collected between the trenches showed several per cent rare earths.

Several hand samples were sent to Dr. Tony Mariano, an expert in rare earth minerals, for further thin section analysis and mineralogical description. Dr. Mariano has told us that he finds Archie Lake to be a property with great potential. An independent 43-101 report was prepared by Darren L. Smith, P.Geol of Dahrouge Geological Consulting Ltd and Qualified Person for the Archie Lake Property and submitted for approval by the TSX-V in December. We received approval on that in late February.

RI: You also have other acquisitions in the works, it that right?
PD: Yes. In the fall of 2009, we announced the acquisition of Silver Mountain Mines, a private US corporation.  While that acquisition is set to proceed shortly, I can tell you that Silver Mountain has a very nice grass-roots Rare Earth project in Ontario, and has also recently acquired two fantastic Rare Earth projects in Western Australia.  These two projects are located in the same mineral field where Lynas Corp. is developing its world class Mt. Weld deposit of 7.7 Mt grading 12% rare earth oxides. The first of the two tenements covers over 7,500 hectares and has returned significant REE results from rock chip samples taken from an historic trench excavated in the late 1990s. Ten elements showed good results with the highest being Cerium (Ce) at 31,200 ppm, Lanthanum (La) at 26,800 ppm and Neodymium (Nd) at 14,600 ppm. We expect to initially do ground geophysical work followed by drilling. The other property is located 45 km north of Mt. Weld and covers 9,600 hectares. It has an interesting magnetic feature on which we expect to do field evaluations. We are also looking at another potential acquisition in the US involving a more advanced Rare Earth property with substantial reserves already drilled out.

RI: What would you like investors to focus on in considering Butler as an attractive buy at this time?
PD: We view ourselves as an early entry into a commodity sector with great potential. We have highly prospective properties, with additional acquisitions in the pipeline. We have a solid treasury adequate to handle our planned expenditures and a low issued and outstanding share total. So we believe that we can give our shareholders a very good opportunity to participate in a company with great potential.

Milestones for 2010

    * Follow up and close on several high potential acquisitions
    * Complete at least one round of drilling on Archie Lake and other acquisition properties.

Disclosure: No Positions