Rare Element Resources Ltd. (RER) announced that it has been awarded a $4.4m grant from the Wyoming Energy Authority (WEA) to be utilized for the advancement of the Company’s rare earth element processing and separation demonstration plant project in Wyoming.
The grant is a cost reimbursement award for future expenditures related to the project, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through a previously announced financial award. The total project cost is aout $44m, with $21.9m provided through the DOE.
The Wyoming Energy Authority was created in 2020 by the Wyoming State Legislature by merging the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority and the Wyoming Pipeline Authority.
What are the terms of WEA’s grant to RER?
The rare earth processing and separation plant project, led by General Atomics, an affiliate of the Company’s largest shareholder, Synchron, is nearing the final design review milestone, which is expected to be complete by the end of this year. This milestone will allow the Company to advance through the first go/no go decision point with the DOE.
Upon the DOE’s approval to proceed, the WEA grant will be available to the Company, subject to the details to be contained in an MOU between the Company and the State of Wyoming.
The plant is expected to produce commercial-grade neodymium/praseodymium (Nd/Pr) high-purity oxide that is used in producing high-strength permanent magnets. These high-strength permanent magnets are a key component in the manufacture of electric vehicles and wind turbines, among other technology uses. Previously stockpiled material from the Company’s Bear Lodge deposit in northeast Wyoming will be processed in the plant.
Synchron and General Atomics are privately held companies engaged in the development and production of advanced technology products and systems for the energy and defense sectors. General Atomics is an affiliate of Synchron, the Company’s majority shareholder.
Rare Element Resources Ltd. is a publicly traded, strategic materials company focused on delivering rare earth products or minerals for technology, energy and defense applications by advancing the Bear Lodge Critical Rare Earth Project in northeast Wyoming.
In addition, Bear Lodge is a significant mineralized district containing many of the less common, more valuable, critical rare earth minerals that are essential for high-strength permanent magnets, electronics, fiber optics, laser systems for medical technology and defense, as well as technologies like electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines.
Wyoming Energy Authority advances Wyoming’s energy strategy by driving data, tech, and infrastructure investments. Focusing on an “all-of-the-above” energy mix, the WEA’s strategy includes products from legacy industries, along with the newer players advancing renewable energy and opportunities in hydrogen, nuclear, geothermal, and rare earth elements.
What does the funding mean for RER and WEA?
Glen Murrell, Executive Director of the WEA stated, “The need for domestic rare earth elements is a necessity for our ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy and also energy security.”
“Given that Wyoming is home to one of the highest-grade rare earth deposits, we felt supporting Rare Element Resources’ demonstration plant in Upton was vital. We look forward to supporting this project and the development of the critical minerals industry in Wyoming.”
Brent Berg, President and CEO of the Company, stated, “We are very pleased that the WEA, upon the approval of the University of Wyoming Energy Resources Council, recognizes the critical value of this timely project for the trajectory of the rare earth industry in the US.”
“Wyoming’s financial support exemplifies its commitment to critical materials, specifically rare earth element production. We cannot imagine a more favorable location for this important project and look forward to working with the WEA and others in the state of Wyoming, including the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources, for many years to come.”
“As we progress our demonstration plant through licensing, construction, and operations in the near-term, we will plan for the advancement of a commercial-scale plant to support the Bear Lodge deposit in the future. We understand, as does Wyoming, that our project will serve as a cornerstone for the rare earth industry in Wyoming and America while providing a venue for worker training in rare earth processing and separation.” Mr. Berg added.