The company will test the Bull Hill and Whitetail Ridge rare earth element (NYSEMKT:REE) targets. Three core drilling rigs, two of which are already at the property, will test 40 angle drill holes to depths of between 400 and 1,200 feet.
REEs are key components in several 'green' technologies, including hybrid and electric automobiles and advanced wind turbines, and have several military applications. China currently produces over 95% of the 130,000 tonnes of REEs consumed globally each year.
Rare Element said it hopes to expand and upgrade the resources at Bull Hill and Whitetail Ridge. Currently, the Bear Lodge property hosts 4.9 million tonnes at 3.77% rare earth oxide (REO) in the indicated category, and 17.81 million tonnes at 3.03% REO in the inferred category.
"Rare Element is conducting its 2011 development and exploration drilling programs on the Bull Hill area and Whitetail Ridge rare earth deposits in anticipation of a prefeasibility study scheduled for completion during the first quarter of 2012," said vice president of exploration, Jim Clark.
The Vancouver, B.C.-based company said it hopes to increase the indicated REE resources to use in its prefeasibility study. Rare Element will also use mapping, sampling and surveys to further delineate current targets and identify new ones.