Rare Element Resources Ltd. (TSX-V: RES and AMEX: REE) has announced rare earth element assay results from an additional eleven drill holes completed during the ongoing 2010 core drilling program at the Company's 100% owned Bear Lodge property, located in northeastern Wyoming, USA.
The results include those for nine drill holes in the Bull Hill Southwest resource area, where an updated NI 43-101-compliant resource was estimated earlier this year. Drilling results are also reported from the first two holes drilled by the Company at the Whitetail Ridge target area. The Whitetail Ridge results are marked by potentially significant gold mineralization in addition to the targeted REE mineralization. The objectives of the current drilling program are to expand the Bull Hill SW oxide resource and upgrade the resource category, and to explore for additional REE resources at the Bull Hill NW, Whitetail Ridge, and other target areas.
The host for all rare earth mineralization in the Bear Lodge Mountains is a large alkaline igneous complex that forms the core of the mountain range. Rare earth mineralization is contained within carbonatite and their near-surface oxidized equivalents (FMR). FMR refers to the major constituents of the highly oxidized and leached, former carbonatite dikes that occur in the depth range from the surface to 300-500 beneath the surface-F (FeOx)-M (MnOx)-R (REE minerals). A zone of partly oxidized carbonatite, termed transitional carbonatite has variable thickness and occurs beneath the FMR zone and above the deeper zone of unoxidized carbonatite.
REE assay values are reported by convention as the combined oxide equivalents (REO) of the fifteen elements in the lanthanide series + yttrium. The oxide equivalents are approximately 15.6% higher than the combined metal assay values. The Bear Lodge project contains predominantly the "light" REE (lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, and neodymium), and economically important quantities of several of the "heavy" REE (europium, dysprosium, and terbium). TREO refers to the Total of the REO in a drill intercept.
Bull Hill SW Resource Area
REE mineralization in the Bull Hill SW resource area is contained within dikes and stockwork of FMR, transitional carbonatite, and carbonatite that invade heterolithic intrusive breccia of the Bull Hill diatreme. Most of the REE mineralization in the current set of holes occurs within FMR dikes and veins.
Six of the holes reported here were drilled along a bearing of N45ºE, two of the holes were drilled on a bearing of S45ºW, and one hole was drilled on a bearing of N90ºW from a series of sites on a resource evaluation grid established for the Bull Hill SW deposit in conjunction with Ore Reserves Engineering, the Company's resource estimation consultant.
The drilling results show that the target FMR and carbonatite bodies exhibit strong REE mineralization over a strike length of more than 1,400 feet (426m). Detailed correlations of drill intercepts suggest a structural bias toward vertical or near vertical dips and a transitional change in strike from northwesterly to almost due north in the northern part of the resource area. Of the nine holes drilled on the Bull Hill SW deposit, six are in-fill holes and three are step-off holes that may contribute to additional resources.
Whitetail Ridge target
The Whitetail Ridge REE target area is located approximately 1,500 feet northwest of the Bull Hill Southwest deposit, adjacent to and west of the Bull Hill Northwest target. It is marked by a zone of FMR stockwork and a coincident geophysical anomaly. The size of the geophysical anomaly (approximately 1,400 by 2,000 feet elongate northeasterly) provides an indication that the REE target may be larger than others in the district. Historic hole WP-1, drilled within the Whitetail Ridge target area by Hecla Mining Company in 1987, intersected 430 feet that averaged 2.44% REO in a near- surface intercept from 0 to 430 feet. Within the larger intercept were several 10-foot intercepts with grades ranging from 5.5 to 13.7% REO. The holes drilled during the 2010 program were sited based on detailed geological mapping and a ground geophysical survey. This is the same area previously drilled with a number of holes by the U.S. Bureau of Mines, which reported a potential large low-grade historic resource.
Drill hole RES10-21 also contains a zone of anomalous gold that is partly coincident with the FMR-hosted REE mineralization. The Company is evaluating this new target signature. The partial coincidence between REE and gold mineralization was first identified by Newmont's trench sampling in the Whitetail Ridge area in 2009. Initial drilling at the Whitetail Ridge target confirms its potential for economic REE mineralization. The geological mapping and subsequent drilling suggest that the mineralized bodies have both northwesterly and east-northeasterly structural components. More drilling is warranted to test the prospect and determine the orientation and extent of the high-grade mineralization.
Assaying and Quality Control
ALS Chemex conducted the assaying for the rare earth elements in their Vancouver, British Columbia assay facility. ALS Chemex Vancouver is accredited to ISO 9001 and operates according to ALS Group standards consistent with ISO 17025 methods at other laboratories. The samples were prepared and digested with a lithium metaborate fusion, followed by ICP analysis and a mass spectroscopy finish for the rare earth element suite (ALS Method Me-81h). The samples were analyzed for gold using a 30 gram fire assay digestion followed by an ICP-AES finish (ALS Method Au-ICP21).
Analytical quality is monitored through the use of randomly inserted quality control samples, including several different standards with varying concentrations of rare earth elements and gold, blanks, and duplicates, which are blinded to the analytical laboratory. Results of the analyses at ALS Chemex are evaluated continuously, and the results indicate acceptable accuracy and precision. Blank analyses also indicated no issues with carry-over contamination.
The Company's Vice President Jim Clark states: "We continue to receive encouraging results from the Bull Hill SW resource area, and we have confirmed the potential at our Whitetail Ridge target area. The indications of strong gold mineralization at the Whitetail Ridge prospect are particularly exciting, and we will be evaluating that aspect of the project in more detail."
Donald E. Ranta, PhD, PGeo, serves the Board of Directors of the Company as an internal, technically Qualified Person. Technical information in this news release has been reviewed by Dr. Ranta and has been prepared in accordance with Canadian regulatory requirements that are set out in National Instrument 43-101. This news release was prepared by Company management, who take full responsibility for content. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Source: Rare Element Resources Ltd.