US Rare Earths: addressing US self-sustainability in critical and heavy rare earths

LP

Lemhi Pass, Montana

U.S. Rare Earths Inc. (OTCQB: UREE) is a rare earths development company, based in Plano, Texas. Formerly Colorado Rare Earths Inc., the company holds over 120 square miles of mining claims for rare-earth elements in Montana, Idaho and Colorado. So far this year, CEO and Director Kevin Cassidy has spent $1.5 million on phase one of UREE’s exploration programme in Lemhi Pass, Montana, which has proven to be money very well spent. Although there is still more exploration work to complete before the end of year (when the company plans to file a NI 43-101-compliant Resource), results achieved thus far are incredibly promising. Phase one exploration results confirmed that the company’s properties have the highest accessible critical rare-earth deposit in North America. The most-recent results not only verified historical data – collected from, among others, the US federal government during the 1950s through the 1980s – but returned higher grades and amounts of rare earths than first reported and, not surprisingly, made the decision for Cassidy to approve his lead geologist’s request for additional drilling and sampling an easy one to make.

The company’s Phase One Lemhi Pass exploration is focused on two related defined trend lengths, totaling 42,000 feet, and holding veins with critical rare-earth mineralization. UREE geologists have defined a critical rare-earth mineralized vein, open to exploration on both ends and at depth, with a surface length (strike) of at least 2,200 feet and down-hole vein intersections at depths between 200 and 460 feet. The diamond-core drilling efforts, totalling 1,500 feet, with 9 separate qualified surface channel samples totalling over 200 feet, are now being utilized to define critical rare-earth mineralization along the Last Chance vein, initially defined both at surface and depth.

Four HQ-size diamond core drill holes were completed and down-hole surveyed from two separate pads. Two holes were drilled from each pad location, which are separated by 800 feet along the vein strike. All four holes intersected the mineralized vein. Drilling intersected critical rare-earth mineralization in all four holes drilled along the vein and returned total rare-earth oxide assay values between 8,500 and 2,000 ppm in several meter intervals. Qualified surface channel sampling completed along the vein length, at 65 to 650 feet intervals, returned total rare-earth oxides with assay values between 18,800 and 2,000 ppm in several meter intervals. Estimated true mineralized vein thickness at the surface is between 3.3 and 23 feet, with at-depth drilling intersecting critical rare-earth mineralization across an estimated true vein thickness varying between 3.25 and 29 feet.

The critical rare earth oxides make up 33% to 47% of the total Last Chance vein rare earths and uniquely positions the Lemhi Pass properties as holding one of the richest critical rare-earth mineralizations in the continental US. As reserves are identified and developed, there is potential to deliver a critical and heavy rare-earth basket for both domestic and global consumption, namely: dysprosium, europium, neodymium, terbium, erbium and yttrium.

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With robust exploration results, one of the very best Board of Directors in REE history, a healthy share price, and the tenth-largest market cap in the rare-earths business, Cassidy definitely has a lot to be excited about. He expects further exploration this year to cost his company another $1 million; however, with over $1.5 million in its bank account, the company is completely funded to Resource. Rest assured, we will have more on US Rare Earths in the near very near future.

US Rare Earth’s Lehmi Pass Property Advantages:

  • A suite of “critical” rare earths (neodymium, terbium, dysprosium, yttrium, europium, and erbium). These are largely the heavy rare-earth elements (HREEs), with the major exception being neodymium, arguably the most sought-after light rare-earth element (LREE).
  • Access to roads, power and water
  • Located in the continental United States
  • Local, state and federal government support for both the company and the project
  • US government, industry and Wall Street awareness
  • Strong historical, current and ongoing exploration results
  • Experienced geological team
  • World-class Board of Directors (one of the very best in the REE business)
  • Negligible chance of any significant new US rare-earth discoveries

  1. Good article Ty, giving us the numbers and the history without hype, I appreciate that. This company is in a unique and interesting position in the REE arena

  2. Looked at this and did some basic research. Started out interested and ended up, to be polite, disgusted.
    A hard rock vein deposit with good element distribution. Sounds a bit like GWM’s Steenkampskraal, with hard to get at but high value REs. Steenkampskraal’s grade? 16% TREE.
    Lemhi Pass? Between 0.2 and 1.8% on the figures above.
    Steenkampskraal has thorium problems.
    According to the US geological survey Lemhi Pass rates as a high grade thorium deposit:
    http://energy.usgs.gov/Portals/0/Rooms/uranium/text/u2009/VanGosenabstract.pdf
    In fact this company owns both of the high grade Th deposits in the US (the other is Wet mountain)!
    Thorium is sadly a tad out of fashion at the moment but I do believe in its future as a reactor fuel in a decade or 2. In the meantime it’s a radioactive pollutant; just ask Lynas whose traces have caused no end of headaches in Malaysia. Is it an issue in Montana? I’m not sure, but these guys think so:
    http://www.hcn.org/issues/43.6/rare-earth-reality-check/print_view
    I must comment on the misleading pump “Negligible chance of any significant new US rare-earth discoveries”.
    It may possibly be true, but who cares? There are plenty of good REE deposits way ahead of Lemhi Pass both in resourse quality and development stage. A good number are in the US (eg Bokan, Bear Lodge) and there are plenty in Canada. In terms of serious HRE plays you might like to compare NTU’s Wolverine HREE deposits in Australia. The data is available http://www.techmetalsresearch.com/metrics-indices/tmr-advanced-rare-earth-projects-index/.
    Pity the Author didn’t check some basic facts versus the (further advanced) competition.
    The piece is IMO not worth a place here where articles are usually well informed.

    • Wow, I really struck a nerve with you. That’s great. I forgot… what REE company do you work for?

      You’re so right… legendary names in American politics, like Governor and two-term US Senator Bob Kerry and Commander-in-Chief, United States Central Command, General Tommy Franks would attach themselves (as members of the BOD, no less!) to such a hopeless and useless company. I think Kevin Cassidy better listen to you (lol!) and shut this whole thing down.

      • Well, since you brought up Bob Kerry and Tommy Franks, I might as well repeat my comment http://investorintel.com/rare-earth-intel/u-s-rare-earths-to-create-an-independent-u-s-source-of-critical-rare-earths/#comment-172179 from Tracy’s interview with the U.S. Rare Earths CEO, which (comment) was posted prior to this article.

        “Pardon my skepticism, but it sure sounds like the the U.S. Rare Earths strategy is to use a roster of former high-ranking government officials to wave the flag and use their Federal government influence in order to socialize its (mine and processing plant) development costs (and any potential losses), while privatizing its gains. Today’s Tommy Franks announcement fits right in.”

        • To be completely honest, I acknowledge and respect your point, VB. But I do not agree. I don’t know if you’re wrong, but I sincerely hope you are.

          With respect to Kerry and Franks, they would not, in my opinion, be tied to a company that would be (directly or indirectly) built off US taxpayers money, while exploiting the paradigm of its creation/structure for personal gain. Both men, in particular, love their country more than most and are tremendously concerned about long-term US sustainability in REEs. They not only want to mine REEs in the US, they are just as concerned with processing on US soil – specifically from a DoD/strategic point of view, but also for industry. Both men have countless opportunities presented to them (they’re not hurting for money or for something “to do”) and joining UREE is not something they would take lightly (or for a quick payday) or without extensive due diligence. Again, I hope you’re wrong and I really hope Cassidy and Lattimore can achieve their vision.

          Furthermore, there are a lot of other announcements that UREE will be releasing in the weeks to come (obviously, InvestorIntel is not at liberty to write about them until they are officially announced by the company).

          Time will tell… but I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss US Rare Earths.

        • I’m going to be interviewing Kevin Cassidy and Howard Dunn in the next week or so. Are there any (specific) questions you would like me to ask?

          • Yes, please ask Mr. Cassidy to expand on/explain his quote at 5:59 of Tracy’s interview with him http://investorintel.com/rare-earth-intel/u-s-rare-earths-to-create-an-independent-u-s-source-of-critical-rare-earths/#comment-172179 . In response to Tracy’s asking him how he is going to build the refinery he said “we’re looking for strategic partners related to people in government.” I presume that Bob Kerrey and Tommy Franks weren’t brought onto the board of directors based on their mining and chemical engineering expertise.

          • Duly noted, VB. That’s a good question and I will add that to my list. Thank you.

            I agree… I presume Franks and Kerry were added for (among a whole host of other reasons) their strategic insights, significant experience at the federal level and to facilitate relevant introductions… like (notwithstanding Syria) meeting with Chuck Hagel; not so much for either gentleman’s mining and chemical engineering expertise, per se.

    • I took the following quotes directly from the EPA’s report (that you provided):

      “The rare earth element resources at Lemhi Pass are in demand and very valuable.”

      and

      “Favorable market conditions may interest mining companies in reevaluating the rare earth element mining potential at Lemhi Pass. Additional exploration would be needed in the area to better define the total resources.”

      Additional exploration… which is EXACTLY what US Rare Earths is in the midst of doing! Any other reports you care to link to that will further prove my point?

      • Since we’re cherry picking from that report let’s compare what it says about 2 region 8 deposits and everyone can draw their own conclusions:
        Bear Lodge:
        - The Bear Lodge deposit has the most potential for rare earth element mining to develop in Region 8.
        - have found multiple high grade areas
        mining will most likely be a reality at the Bear Lodge property within the next five years
        - 17 million tons of rare earth oxides grading at 3.46%
        (My comment: its also far more advanced as a project)
        Lemhi:
        - thorium and rare earth element resources residing in numerous mineralized quartz veins
        - Samples from 31 mineralized veins showed rare earth element oxide grades between
        .073% and 2.20%
        - Despite some rare earth element oxide grades close to economical percentages, the overall grade average at Lemhi Pass was only .428% leaving little potential for mining (USGS, 2010).
        - Thorium and land-use issues at Lemhi Pass inhibit the possibilities of mining similar to the Wet Mountains (Van Gosen, 2011).
        - Lemhi Pass is more renowned for its thorium resources than rare earth element content.

        A fair, impartial and balanced article would have managed to mention a few of these things.

        By the way I don’t work for a RE company but am invested in one and considering a second: both Australian.

        • Worth noting also that the highest grade you quote in your piece from the additional drilling (1.88%) doesn’t improve the numbers from the link I posted, which has a top grade of 2.20%. So it doesn’t appear that it’s turned up anything new and significant so far.
          But please don’t misquote me that REE is “to such a hopeless and useless company”. Your words not mine.
          It’s IMO a member of the pack and not a particularly distinguished one.
          My problem continues to be with one eyed reporting not the company.

          • Jan – Enough said. If you have a challenge with the reporting, then give me a call as I would welcome your suggestions. My editorial team and contributing editors are the best in the world for the coverage of rare earths and critical minerals. If you have something to say, say it – but let’s not beat the journalist reporting data to the best of their ability….

            You seem knowledgeable, and you have easily written an article on this piece. Be happy to see what you can write if you want to take a run at it – and place yourself on the stage for others to review.

            Thank you for you comments — and just email me…am easy to find in this small industry.

  3. I don’t think VB’s comments are without merit. From an ecological and economic standpoint, the DOD has the “national security” dodge to circumvent any and all laws. This could well apply to Bokan as well. Just sayin’ …..

    • Absolutely. I don’t think VB’s comments are without merit whatsoever. In fact, my best friend shares VB’s position, which I hear often. More often than I’d like. And you too bring up an excellent point, tek… the DoD’s ability to circumvent (most) any and all laws.

  4. Pingback: Oracle promises a rare earth market poised for recovery | InvestorIntelInvestorIntel

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