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Rare Element Resources Appoints VP And General Counsel

Rare Element Resources (NYSE:REE) (TSE:RES) announced Monday the appointment of Kelli C. Kast as vice president, general counsel, chief administrative officer and corporate secretary, effective immediately.

The mineral resource company said Kast has 16 years of legal experience, including seven years as a "top legal officer" in the precious metals industry.

She most recently held the position of senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Coeur d'Alene Mines (NYSE:CDE).

Prior to Coeur, she was corporate counsel for HealtheTech from 2004 to 2005. She also served as assistant general counsel and corporate secretary for Global Water Technologies and Psychrometric Systems from 1997 to 2003.

"In addition to her administrative responsibilities, her experience in global contract negotiations, environmental and safety issues, and mergers and acquisitions will continue to strengthen the capabilities of our management team," said the company's president and CEO, Randy Scott.

"We look forward to the added value that she will bring as we continue to develop our Bear Lodge project."

Rare Element is focused on the exploration and development of rare-earth elements and gold. Last Wednesday, the company reported that it has started its 2012 drilling and exploration program at its Bear Lodge rare earth element project in Wyoming.

Three core drill rigs and one reverse circulation drill rig are currently at the site, with the aim of expanding and upgrading the current reserve and resource base at the Bull Hill deposit with infill and step-out drilling.

Infill and step-out drilling will also be taking place at the growing Whitetail Ridge deposit, designed to expand the current resource and upgrade a portion of the resource to the measured and indicated categories.

The company will also be embarking on exploration drilling this year to establish inferred resources at the Carbon and East Taylor target areas, both of which show "significant HREE-enrichment", the company said, as reported in May.

In total, around 15,000 metres of drilling are budgeted for the year's program, which aside from drilling, will also include geological mapping, soil and rock chip surveys, and bulk sampling for metallurigcal testing.

In April, the company unveiled a revised preliminary feasibility study (NYSE:PFS) for Bear Lodge, giving a net present value of $1.27 billion, at a 10 per cent discount rate after state taxes but before federal income taxes, and an internal rate of return of 47.8 per cent with two-year payback of initial capital.

Less than a month later, Rare Element released an updated NI 43-101-compliant mineral resource estimate for the three deposits located in the Bull Hill area of the Bear Lodge project, with a 10 per cent increase in measured and indicated resources and a 61 per cent increase in oxide and oxide-carbonate inferred mineral resources.

Rare Element's updated resource estimate for its Bull Hill deposit consists of 7.5 million tons (6.8 million metric tonnes) grading 3.79% Rare Earth Oxides (REO) in the measured and indicated categories, using a 1.5% REO cutoff grade.