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Rare Element Resources Receives DOE Approval to Proceed with Construction of Rare Earth Processing and Separation Demonstration Plant

Rare Element Resources Ltd. (the “Company” or “RER”) is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Energy’s (the “DOE”) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has issued a Project Continuation Notice following its approval of the budget for construction of the Company’s planned rare earth processing and separation demonstration plant (the “Demonstration Plant”).

This approval, along with the DOE’s recent completion of its National Environmental Policy Act review, allows commencement of construction of the Demonstration Plant, located in Upton, Wyoming. The Company expects plant operations to commence in the third quarter of 2024, following the seven-to-10-month construction period. The Demonstration Plant is expected to advance the Company’s proprietary processing and separation technology and generate the operational and economic data necessary for design of a commercial-scale plant.

“In anticipation of DOE budget approval, we have been working alongside our General Atomics-led project team and our contractor to prepare the site for construction,” said Brent Berg, President and CEO of RER. “Now renovations can begin in earnest. To expedite the time frame to production, the team will be installing equipment that is already being assembled offsite on skids. Entering the active construction phase moves us one step closer to bringing our innovative rare earth recovery technology, with its inherent environmental and economic advantages, to commercial production.”

Mr. Berg added, “Our progress on advancing our recovery technology through construction of the demonstration plant is very timely as today China announced its ban on the export of critical materials extraction and separation technology for rare earth metals and alloy materials as well as technology to prepare rare earth magnets. This is another bold step by China to protect its dominance over the industry, and a call to action for countries like the U.S. to quickly develop domestic sources and advance innovative recovery technologies to support a secure rare earth supply chain.”

Rare earths’ unique characteristics, especially their ability to enhance magnetic properties, make them essential to many hi-tech, defense and green applications. The risks associated with China’s current monopoly of the rare earth supply chain have led the DOE and U.S. Department of Defense to deem rare earth elements “critical” when considering the nation’s stated clean energy goals and strategic national defense initiatives. Working together with the DOE and industry-leader, General Atomics, RER is advancing an innovative rare earth recovery technology and looking to create the cornerstone for a secure, domestic rare earth supply chain with development of the Company’s Bear Lodge Rare Earth Project.

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