Rare Element's Rare-Earths Metallurgical Testing Underway



    TSX-V: RES
    Ref: 2-2008

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 18 /CNW/ - Rare Element Resources Ltd. (TSX-V:RES) is
pleased to announce that a new phase of the rare-earth-element (REE)
metallurgical test work has begun at the lab of Mountain States R&D
International (MSRDI) in Tucson, Arizona. A summary of the previous test work
done to date is also provided in this news release. Rare Element views this
testing as an important step in determining the amenability to extraction of
rare earths from the relatively high-grade rare-earths mineralized area on the
Bear Lodge Property in Wyoming, USA.

    2008 Metallurgical Test Program

    The 2007 drilling program was designed largely around the requirement to
collect more REE sample material for metallurgical testing. Drill-hole
RES 07-01 was oriented to maximize the amount of non-oxide rare-earth-bearing
carbonatite encountered in the drill hole and to provide sufficient amounts of
mixed (oxidized plus non-oxidized) and non-oxidized material for metallurgical
testing. Drill-hole RES 07-02 was also oriented to intercept thick zones of
non-oxide rare-earth-bearing carbonatite for metallurgical tests while testing
the continuity of the mineralization within the historical resource identified
by Hecla Mining Company.
    Metallurgical testing of the Bear Lodge REE mineralization is proceeding
with the goal of identifying the full range of physical-chemical
characteristics of the mineralization and of optimizing leaching and other
metallurgical processes. Rare Element Resources has selected mineralized
samples from RES 07-01 and RES 07-02 for metallurgical study and sent them to
Mountain States R&D International (MSRDI) in Tucson, Arizona for testing.
Beneficiation tests are being conducted primarily on both mixed and non-oxide
rare-earth mineralized samples to determine the feasibility of producing
commercial rare-earth concentrates. The Company recognizes that the
finer-grained oxidized and partially oxidized FMR (iron-manganese-REE) type of
rare-earth mineralization may have greater metallurgical challenges, but
because this material represents a potential near-surface resource, a portion
of the test work will be conducted on these materials.
    Building on the previous metallurgical test work, MSRDI will investigate
non-conventional processing methods for the recovery of rare earths from the
deposit. In some cases it may be easier to concentrate (or remove) the larger
weight percentage of the gangue by appropriate processing techniques leaving
behind smaller weight percentage of the valuable minerals in the residue
(tailings). This technique is termed "reverse concentration." These are
uncommon techniques; however, they effectively pre-concentrate the valuable
rare-earth minerals into a smaller enriched product using the physical or
physico-chemical (in case of flotation) characteristics of the gangue
minerals. In this way, the major portion of the mineralized material, the
gangue minerals, is discarded at a relatively coarse size. This
pre-concentrate is then further processed by hydrometallurgical techniques to
recover the various rare-earth products selectively.
    Rare Element Resources has confidence that MSRDI will investigate a
variety of concentration methods to determine which methodology works best for
both the mixed and non-oxidized rare-earth occurrences at the Bear Lodge
property.

    2005-06 Metallurgical Test Programs

    A number of preliminary tests have been run on the REE mineralization
from the Bear Lodge project by Metcon Research Inc. and by SGS Lakefield in
2005 and 2006, respectively, on both oxidized and non-oxidized materials. The
purpose of the first tests, which were undertaken at Metcon Research of
Tucson, Arizona, was to determine initial leach and other chemical
characteristics of the two main types of Bear Lodge rare-earth-element (REE)
mineralization. Hydrochloric (HCl) and sulfuric (H(2)SO(4)) acids were found
to dissolve most of the carbonates with simultaneous extraction of most of the
rare earths. However, this was not a selective leach and may be considered as
a potential process for selective recoveries of all the contained rare-earth
values. These initial leach-test data provided the first indication of the
bulk composition of the Bear Lodge REE mineralization, shown in Table 1, and
how it will respond to the general application of leach processes. The tests
also provide a possible basis for fine tuning the leach process to more
economically extract the Bear Lodge REEs.
    Using HCl, the high average recovery (94%) for the high-grade oxide REE
mineralization (Table 1) indicates that the REEs in this mineralization are
tied up almost exclusively in carbonate minerals. This is as expected. The
main REE mineral identified in the oxidized material is the carbonate
bastnaesite ((REE)CO(3)(F,OH)), which is one of the principal commercially
mined REE minerals. The main REE mineral in the non-oxidized mineralization is
ancylite ((REE)(Sr,Ca)(CO(3))(2)(OH)(H(2)O)), which is also a carbonate and
may be exploited for commercial production; however, the lesser HCl-leach
recovery (70%) of the REEs in the non-oxidized mineralization indicates that
it is likely that a proportion of the fine-grained bastnaesite-group minerals
may be encapsulated in quartz. In the mixed mineralization, any non-carbonate
REE minerals may have been altered, during partial oxidation, to the easily
leached carbonate REEs. (Mineral chemical formulae generally only indicate the
REE structural site with the symbol for the more common REE. Any REE can
occupy these sites as they all have very similar physical-chemical
properties.) Sulfuric acid gave lower average recovery (65%) for the oxide
mineralization, and similar recovery (73%) for the non-oxide material.
    A flotation test program, conducted by SGS Lakefield of Ontario,
including the hot-flotation step used previously by Molycorp's Mountain Pass
REE operation, did not result in selective recoveries of the contained
rare-earth values. A preliminary characterization of the mode of occurrence of
various valuable rare-earth minerals as well as the gangue minerals in the
mineralized material has been accomplished and the studies were curtailed do
to the lack of additional sample material. The mineralogical and textural
characteristics of the carbonatite bodies identify several factors that are
likely to exert a strong influence on the efficiency and viability of economic
extraction of the REE-bearing mineral phases.

    
     Table 1. Composite test-sample head assays in milligrams of REEs per
                                   kilogram
                   Metcon Research (10,000 g/t equals 1%)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rare-Earth Element    Oxidized Sample (g/t)     Non-oxidized Sample (g/t)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lanthanum                    23,400 (2.34%)                11,200 (1.12%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cerium                       35,900 (3.59%)                16,000 (1.60%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Praseodymium                  3,830 (0.38%)                 1,480 (0.15%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Neodymium                    13,400 (1.34%)                 4,720 (0.47%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Samarium                      1,620 (0.16%)                   487 (0.04%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Europium                               308                          98.9
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gadolinium                             647                           207
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Terbium                               41.2                          16.5
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dysprosium                             134                          55.6
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Holmium                               13.5                           5.9
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Erbium                                21.1                           8.3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thulium                                2.3                           1.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ytterbium                              415                           163
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lutetium                               2.0                           0.7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total REE's                  79,734 (7.97%)              34,440.9 (3.44%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    An announcement of assay results from the last two holes of the 2007
drilling program and a summary of the entire Rare Element Resources'
exploration program for rare earths will be issued shortly.

    Rare Element Resources Ltd (TSX-V:RES) is a publicly traded
mineral-resource company focused on gold and the rare-earth elements. In
addition to the REE exploration and evaluation efforts, the Company and
Newmont have entered into the Sundance gold-exploration joint venture on the
Company's 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.

    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. The TSX Venture Exchange has not
reviewed, and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of
this release.





For further information:

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

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