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Avalon Rare Metals resumes work at Separation Rapids and Warren Township

Avalon Rare Metals (TSE:AVL) (AMEX:AVL) announced Thursday it has resumed exploration work at its Separation Rapids and Warren Township properties.

The company recently delivered bulk samples from both properties for evaluation of its market potential, after receiving an 'expression of interest' from a major minerals company.

The samples were taken from inventories that were collected during work programs in 2006 and 2007.  If the results from the bulk sample testing are positive, Avalon said it would contemplate partnering with this unnamed company.

"We are pleased with the new interest in these rare minerals products which we have long believed would eventually have new demand growth," said Avalon president and CEO, Don Bubar.

"Avalon has held on to these properties for a very long time and it is gratifying to see that our patience may finally be rewarded. Both properties offer Avalon potential for near term production and cash flow compared to the Thor Lake project, and at a much lower capital investment."

As of last month, Avalon had spent a total of more than $38 million in exploration drilling at its wholly owned Thor Lake property in the Northwest Territories. But earlier this year, the company said it was still in negotiations with the Lutsel K'e Dene First Nations community regarding the company's developments on the property.

Meanwhile, the Separation Rapids property is located about 70 kilometres north of Kenora, Ontario, and hosts a large resource of the rare lithium mineral, petalite, which is used in certain glass and ceramic products to boost strength and thermal resistance. Associated tantalum and rubidium minerals were also discovered.

In 2009, Avalon secured a mining lease over the Separation Rapids property. Ongoing work involves a review of local infrastructure and preparation work for the applications of various operating permits.

The Warren Township property is located near the Village of Foleyet, about 100 kilometres west of Timmins, Ontario. It hosts a large resource of pure calcium feldspar, which is used in textile fiberglass, and certain ceramic products.

A bulk sample program was carried out at Warren Township in 2007. The new interest in the property has prompted Avalon to restart the process of securing an operating permit, it said. It expects to receive the permit in the coming months.