2009 Drill Program Tests Gold Targets at Bear Lodge

Results include 44 meters averaging 1.24 g/t gold; 56 meters averaging 1.05 g/t gold; 76 meters averaging 0.85 g/t gold.

TSX-V: RES

VANCOUVER, Dec. 3 /CNW/ - Rare Element Resources Ltd (TSX-V: RES) is pleased to announce the assay results from all eighteen holes drilled by Newmont North America Exploration Ltd (Newmont), the manager of the Sundance gold exploration venture in Wyoming, in the 2009 drilling program. Several of these holes expanded the gold mineralized zone in the Smith target, and limits are being defined in the Taylor and Carbon targets. Mineralization remains open in several directions in each target, and some of the better grade zones remain to be offset with additional drill holes.

Newmont began the 2009 drill program in early July to test extensions of higher-grade zones in the Smith target, and to expand gold zones in the Taylor and Carbon targets. The angle holes at Smith intersected substantial thicknesses of gold mineralization at various depths. All eighteen holes contain some intervals of anomalous gold mineralization. The assay results continue to indicate potential for significant near-surface oxide mineralized systems.

Highlights of the drill-hole assay results are presented below, and details are provided in the attached Table 1.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Hole No.        Target      From (m)     To (m) Interval (m) Gold (g/t)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      SUN-041         Smith          83         145         62         0.70
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      SUN-042         Smith         178         216         38         0.72
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      SUN-043         Smith         142         218         76         0.85
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      SUN-044         Smith         138         194         56         1.05
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      SUN-049         Smith         239         283         44         1.24
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

The scope of the 2009 drill program was broader than previous programs, because the new exploration permit allows disturbance on up to 200 acres. The earlier permit allowed only five acres of disturbance. The focus of the 2009 Newmont program was the Smith target, due to a series of higher-grade intercepts cut in historic drill programs on that target area.

Smith Target

The Smith gold exploration target, formerly called the East and West breccia targets, sits atop Smith Ridge and consists of mineralized breccias that are located about 1.5 km southeast of Bull Hill. The breccias contain a historical resource estimate (not NI 43-101 compliant) of about 7 to 8 million tons grading 0.023 opt Au *. The deposit was discovered by FMC in 1985 and subsequently drilled by International Curator and Coca Mines. Coca Mines collected a bulk surface sample of the mineralization for metallurgical testing. While the breccias themselves are low-grade, high-grade intercepts were cut in several drill holes, as noted below. The breccias are located within and adjacent to large blocks of Precambrian granite enveloped by a sequence of trachytic and phonolitic intrusive rocks. The target has potential for additional gold mineralization along strike and at depth. The zones of higher-grade mineralization may be structurally controlled.

A review of historical drill holes with high-grade gold mineralization within the Sundance property indicates that nearly all of the holes with the highest grades were drilled at the Smith target. This type of gold mineralization helps to reinforce the comparison of Sundance with the Cripple Creek system in Colorado, which also had high grades occurring along steep vein structures. Historical drill holes and intercepts with higher-grade assay results are listed below. These drill holes are primarily from the Smith target area.

    
    -   Drill-hole S-33 - 4.5 m @ 8.0 g/t Au (15 ft @ 0.23 opt)
    -   Drill-hole S-34 - 3 m @ 5.7 g/t Au (10 ft @ 0.17 opt)
           plus 4.5 m @ 11.0 g/t Au (15 ft @ 0.32 opt)
    -   Drill-hole S-35 - 1.5 m @ 33.9 g/t Au (5 ft @ 0.991 opt)
           within 9 m @ 5.7 g/t Au (30 ft @ 0.17 opt)
    -   Drill-hole S-60 - 1.5 m @ 10.3 g/t Au (5 ft @ 0.30 opt)
    -   Drill-hole S-81 - 6 m @ 5.8 g/t Au (20 ft @ 0.17 opt)
    -   Drill-hole S-84 - 3 mt @ 4.8 g/t Au (10 ft. @ 0.14 opt)
    -   Drill-hole SU 96-4 - 4.5 m @ 4.7 g/t Au (15 ft. @ 0.14 opt)
    

Newmont & Sundance

Newmont manages gold exploration at the Sundance Gold Venture and is in the 4th year of earning a 65% interest in the project by spending US$5 million over a five year period. Following a lengthy effort to permit disturbance on up to 200 acres, the 2009 exploration program was focused on the discovery of higher grade gold mineralization. The 45 exploration holes drilled by the Sundance gold venture to date all contain gold mineralization and are concentrated on the Smith, Carbon and Taylor targets.

Preliminary metallurgical bottle-roll and column leach tests were conducted on drill samples from the Carbon and Taylor targets. The initial column leach test results, which are more indicative of potential production, yielded 78.4 percent recovery at -3/4 inch crush size, 80.5 percent at -10 mesh (sand size), and 87.9 percent at -200 mesh (fine powder). These tests successfully provide the first indication of how the near-surface oxide gold mineralization might respond to leaching processes (see news release dated May 29, 2008).

The Bear Lodge property has a well- documented, hydrothermally altered and mineralized system with rock types, mineralogy, and structures that match major features of the alkaline-igneous gold exploration model as it is expressed at Cripple Creek. Past exploration efforts paid little attention to the Bear Lodge potential for deeper-seated, high-grade gold deposits targeted by this model. At the same time near-surface low-grade, bulk-tonnage gold mineralization has become more economically significant with the increase in gold price.

The exploration venture with Newmont maximizes potential for gold exploration at Bear Lodge, while allowing Rare Element Resources to continue evaluating the potential of its rare-earth-element (REE) deposits. Extensive high-grade REE occurrences in carbonatite dikes and their oxidized equivalents are flanked by several gold targets within the same alkaline intrusive complex.

    
    * This historical resource estimate is mentioned as part of the
        historical record for the Smith target and was prepared before the
        introduction of NI 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral
        Projects ("NI 43-101"). Investors are cautioned that a qualified
        person has not completed sufficient work to classify the historical
        estimate as a current mineral resource. Neither the Company nor its
        personnel treat these data as defining a current mineral resource as
        defined under NI 43-101, nor do they rely upon them for evaluation
        purposes; however, these data are used to guide exploration as the
        Company develops data to confirm their validity and to support a
        current mineral resource estimate in accordance with the requirements
        of NI 43-101.
    

Rare Element Resources Ltd (TSX-V: RES) is a publicly traded mineral-resource company focused on gold and strategic metals such as the rare-earth elements. Paso Rico (USA) Inc, a subsidiary of Rare Element Resources, and Newmont North America Exploration Limited, a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation, have entered into the Sundance gold-exploration joint venture on Rare Element Resources' Wyoming property. Newmont has the right to earn a 65% working interest in Rare Element Resources' property, excluding any rights to the rare-earth elements and uranium but including rights to gold and other metals, by performing US$5 million in property work expenditures over a five-year period. Newmont also has the right to earn an additional 15% working interest by completing a positive project feasibility study.

Rare Element Resources' Bear Lodge, Wyoming property also encompasses on of the largest disseminated rare-earth occurrences in North America (M.H. Staatz, US Geological Survey Professional Paper 1049D). In parallel with the Sundance gold-focused exploration project, Rare Element Resources is independently advancing the rare-earth potential of its property with the ongoing 2009 drilling program, continuation of metallurgical testing, and initiation of engineering studies.

    
    ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD

        Donald E Ranta, PhD, PGeo,
        President & CEO
    

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.

    
    Table 1 Significant gold intercepts from the 2009 Sundance drill program
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                            Intercepts
                                                            ----------
                                                        greater than 20ft
          2009 Drill Holes                              -----------------
                                                      and greater than 0.40
                                                      ---------------------
                                                              g/t Au
                                                              ------
                                        Average Highest
                                         Gold    Assay
                                         Grade    in
           Total                  Hole    of     Hole,       Len- Len- Grade,
     Hole  Depth                Orient-  Hole,    g/t From To gth  gth  g/t
    Number   ft    Target Name   ation  g/t Au    Au   ft  ft  ft   m    Au
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    SUN-040  500 Smith NW      S30W, -45  0.25   2.09   40  65  25  7.6 0.86
                                                       340 390  50 15.2 0.54

    SUN-041  500 Smith NW      S45W, -45  0.44   1.28  140 245 100 30.5 0.42
                                                       275 480 205 62.5 0.70

    SUN-042  755 Smith West    S60W, -45  0.31   1.49  385 470  85 25.9 0.43
                 BX                                    545 565  25  7.6 0.49
                                                       585 715 125 38.1 0.72

    SUN-043  720 Smith East   due S, -67  0.46   1.95  470 720 250 76.2 0.85
                 BX

    SUN-044  989 Smith East    S35W, -74  0.31   4.26  455 640 185 56.4 1.05
                 BX                                    670 695  25  7.6 0.61
                                                       915 935  20  6.1 0.69
                                                       965 985  20  6.1 0.41

    SUN-045  520 Smith North  due E, -45  0.19   1.93  220 245  25  7.6 0.78
                                                       375 400  25  7.6 0.76

    SUN-046 1450 Smith Deep   due N, -70  0.08   1.45  155 195  40 12.2 0.60

    SUN-047  600 State Section S20E, -45  0.09   1.97  360 380  20  6.1 0.73

    SUN-048  720 State Section S20E, -45  0.08   0.29

    SUN-049 1249 Smith East    S35W, -70  0.32   3.64  170 190  20  6.1 1.14
                 BX                                    620 642  22  6.7 0.44
                                                       791 935 144 43.9 1.24

    SUN-050  740 Smith South   S45W, -45  0.04   0.22

    SUN-051  760 Taylor        S40E, -45  0.23   1.52    5  25  20  6.1 0.50
                                                        55 100  45 13.7 0.47
                                                       120 140  20  6.1 0.42
                                                       170 190  20  6.1 0.67
                                                       250 290  40 12.2 0.71

    SUN-052  620 Carbon SE -   N45W, -45  0.11   0.98
                 ENE

    SUN-053  650 Carbon SE -   S40E, -45  0.08   0.30
                 ENE

    SUN-054  520 Carbon SE -   N45W, -45  0.10   0.34
                 ENE

    SUN-055  650 Taylor        N60E, -45  0.08   0.30

    SUN-056  700 Taylor        S35E, -45  0.13   0.61

    SUN-057  650 Carbon        N20W, -45  0.09   0.55

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------


         Figure 1. Sundance targets with 2009 drill-hole locations.
         ----------------------------------------------------------

                   To see Figure 1, please see URL below:
           http://files.newswire.ca/675/Figure1-Sundance-2009.doc
    

SOURCE RARE ELEMENT RESOURCES LTD.

For further information: For further information: refer to the Company's website at www.rareelementresources.com or contact: Donald E Ranta, President & CEO, (604) 687-3520, don@rareelementresources.com; Mark T. Brown, CFO, (604) 687-3520 ext 242, mtbrown@pacificopportunity.com

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