Visit to Bear Lodge
By Clint Cox
Back in May I visited the Bear Lodge rare earth property of Rare Element Resources. I have wanted to visit the site for quite some time, so it was a highly anticipated trip. In the end (and throughout), it was quite enjoyable, and incredibly educational. I was able to spend the better part of two days with several top-notch geologists who had many years of experience with rare earths.
I flew into Rapid City, South Dakota and drove from there to Sundance, Wyoming. This is a great part of the country with the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, the Vore Buffalo jump, and plenty of outdoor distractions.
We stayed in Sundance, and it was short drive on paved roads and then another short drive though the property on gravel roads to reach Bull Hill, the primary target of rare earth exploration at Bear Lodge:
Bull Hill at Bear Lodge
In its recently released 43-101 report, Rare Element Resources stated that they have over 9.8 million tons (this is 8.89 million metric tonnes) at 4.1% REO. The primary rare earth minerals are ancylite and bastnaesite. The infrastructure is very good at Bear Lodge, and we will watch the company closely as they look to develop their understanding of the property further. We await the results of their metallurgical work, as they are trying to be the first to process ancylite as a primary REE mineral.
Special thanks to Don Ranta (President of Rare Element Resources) and Jim Clark (my host, and Vice President of Exploration) for allowing me to visit the site!