Draft Environmental Impact Statement on Bear Lodge Project Released

Contact(s): Scott Jacobson, (605) 440-1409


45-day public comment period begins January 16 and ends on February 29

Sundance, WY – The Bear Lodge Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Rare Element Resource’s proposed rare earth mine near Sundance, Wyoming has been completed and is ready for public distribution.  The Notice of Availability for the DEIS will be published in the Federal Register on January 15, 2016, which will begin a 45 day public comment period, scheduled to end on February 29, 2016.   

Two public open houses are scheduled:

  • Sundance, Wyoming: Monday, January 25, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Sundance Courthouse – Community Room
  • Upton, Wyoming: Tuesday, January 26, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Upton Community Center

The Bear Lodge Project Plan of Operations, submitted by Rare Element Resources, Inc., proposes to develop a rare earth mine and continue mineral exploration activities nine miles north of Sundance on the Bearlodge Ranger District, Black Hills National Forest in Crook County, Wyoming.

The Bear Lodge Project is rich in “critical” rare earth elements defined by the U.S. Department of Energy as those most essential to the “clean energy” economy and at the highest risk of supply disruption. These elements include neodymium, dysprosium, europium, terbium, and yttrium. The Company also believes that praseodymium is a critical REE because of its use in association with neodymium in high-intensity, permanent magnets. These elements are expected to experience higher demand growth, as green technologies advance in concert with increasing environmental standards worldwide.

The Bear Lodge Project has three main components: 1) construct and operate an open pit mine and associated facilities on National Forest system lands and private lands within the Bearlodge Mountains; 2) construct and operate a hydrometallurgical plant for further concentration and recovery of rare earth elements on private land in Upton, Wyoming; and 3) continue mineral exploration activities by drilling and trenching on proponent held claims on National Forest system lands and private lands within the Bearlodge Mountains, Wyoming.  

In accordance to the General Mining Law of 1872, as amended, Rare Element Resources, Inc. has a statutory right to extract locatable minerals from lands open to mineral entry.  The Forest Service’s responsibility is to protect surface resources, to the extent practicable, on National Forest system lands.   

The US Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, State of Wyoming, Crook and Weston Counties, and the Crook County Natural Resource District are cooperating agencies on this project. Additional Federal, State, and local permits will be required prior to implementation of the project.

The U.S. Forest Service will consider public input on the DEIS.  The DEIS is available for review and comment online at: http://tinyurl.com/BearlodgeMineProject

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/blackhills/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD489189