Rare Element Resources (TSE:RES) (AMEX: REE) said late Tuesday that as of near the end of September, the company has completed 42 drill holes for a total of 9,445 metres at its Bear Lodge rare earths project near Sundance, Wyoming, with assay results expected this month.
The company's recent discoveries of rare earth mineralization in new areas peripheral to, and west of, the Bull Hill deposit at Bear Lodge show some overlap with areas of known gold mineralization, it said.
A fourth core drill rig was added to accelerate exploration in the outlying areas.
Currently, three core rigs are conducting dedicated rare earths exploration and resource definition drilling, while the fourth will conduct gold, rare earth and geotechnical drilling. Exploration work at the project site is expected to continue through November, the company said.
Two trenches have also been developed across the Bull Hill deposit to obtain structural information that is expected to help in the understanding of the mineralized bodies. The information will be included into a predictive model for the deposit and district, which will help to guide future drilling.
"We are extremely pleased at the progress made to date on the exploration program. We are adding to the Bull Hill resource, expanding and defining the Whitetail Ridge resource, and defining the nature and extent of heavy REE-enriched mineralization at Whitetail Ridge and the East Taylor target," said vice president of exploration, Jim Clark.
Drilling at the East Taylor target area was done to follow up on intercepts of high-grade rare earths mineralization identified in one of the company's 2010 gold exploration holes, which showed more of the heavy, and more valuable rare earths. Intercepts included 55 feet at 3.38% total rare earth oxides (TREO) and 55 feet at 7.84% TREO.
Rare-earth elements are key components of green energy technologies and other high-technology applications. Some of the major applications include hybrid automobiles, advanced wind turbines, computer hard drives, compact fluorescent lights, metal alloys, and a number of critical military applications.
Meanwhile, the company also completed 13 reverse circulation drill holes totaling 1,899 metres at its Sundance gold project, also located near Sundance, Wyoming. Geological mapping and sampling of gold-anomalous areas are being carried out in support of the drilling and to identify new drill target areas, Rare Element said.