Idaho and Montana could provide an additional supply for the rare earth metals that are required for electric-vehicle motors, mineral exploration company U.S. Rare Earths Inc. said.
Some rock samples yielded rare earth percentages of as high as 26 percent in Idaho's North Fork region, said the company, which owns claims to more than 16,000 acres of exploration land in the Rocky Mountain states. Exactly what that means is unclear, as the company didn't disclose further details on the amount of rare earths found or the time frame on making them useful for electric-motor production.
Still, the news gives hope to U.S. business proponents because about 90 percent of the world's rare earth metals production is controlled by China. In fact, in March, President Barack Obama said he would go through the World Trade Organization to address what he said was China's limitation on rare earth exports in order to make it easier for U.S. manufacturers to make electric motors.
With supply likely to remain constrained in the near term, Honda said in April it would try to recycle rare earth metals from the nickel-hydride batteries in its hybrids. Also, earlier this year, Toyota said it was developing a way to make electric-drive powertrains without using magnets that require pricey rare-earth metals.
Findings As High As 26% Will Shape 2012 Drill Program
LONOKE, AR-June 20, 2012--U.S. Rare Earths, Inc., "USRE", (OTCBB: UREE), www.usrareearths.com, announced today that surface rock sampling conducted in the fourth quarter 2011 at its Idaho and Montana properties near Lemhi Pass and North Fork Idaho, along with results from sampling in 2009 and 2010 indicate the presence of Total Rare Earth (TRE) ranging as high as 26%. "The analytical results from ACT Labs, Canada -- along with the aero-mag we flew after acquiring these properties will shape our 2012 Drill Program," said Greg Schifrin, Chief Operating Officer.
TRE findings at the North Fork Project ranged from 1-10% at the Radiant Claim, 1-26% at the Cardinal Claim, 1-9% at the Silver King Claim, 1-10% at the Lower Lee Buck Claim, 1-8% at the Diamond Creek Project and 1-18% at the Sheep Creek Project. "The concentrations of TRE present from our rock sampling are substantial and present potential for a significant discovery," stated Michael D. Parnell, Chief Executive Officer. "As one of the two large US reserves listed in the Department of Energy's (DOE) Critical Materials Strategy Report, our rare earth properties could help supply the projected demand of the United States military and civilian green industries, thus assisting in eliminating the dependence the United States currently has on foreign sources," added Parnell.
In 2011, USRE announced the acquisition of the Idaho and Montana properties as well as the additional staking of 8,000 acres in and around the Lemhi Pass District and North Fork.
U.S. Rare Earths' properties in Idaho and Montana including Lemhi Pass have been recognized in the U.S. Department of Energy's Critical Materials Strategy publication to have significant showings of Heavy Rare Earth Elements, in particular for the five Rare Earths identified by DOE as being at "Critical Risk": Dysprosium, Europium, Neodymium, Terbium and Yttrium.
About U.S. Rare Earths, Inc:
U.S. Rare Earths, Inc. (USRE), (OTCBB: UREE), is a mineral exploration, mining and claims acquisition company based in Lonoke, AR. Formerly Colorado Rare Earths, Inc, the company holds over 16,000 acres of mining claims for rare-earth elements in Colorado, Idaho and Montana. In Colorado these include the Powderhorn Property in Gunnison County, and Wet Mountain Property in Fremont and Custer Counties. Additional claims include the Lemhi Pass Property in Lemhi County, Idaho and Beaverhead County, Montana; Diamond Creek and North Fork Properties in Lemhi County, Idaho and the Sheep Creek Property in Ravalli County, Montana. Rare earth elements are critical to many existing and emerging 21st century applications including clean-energy technologies such as hybrid cars and electric vehicles; high-technology applications including cell phones and digital music players; hard disk drives used in computers; microphones; fiber optics; lasers; and in addition, critical defense applications such as global positioning systems, radar and sonar; and advanced water treatment applications, including those for industrial, military, homeland security, domestic and foreign aid use. For more information visit www.usrareearths.com.