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Ramaco announces substantial expansion of Brook Mine rare earth elements exploration target, board approval for initial mining in Q4 2023

In May 2023, metallurgical coal producer Ramaco Resources, in association with with researchers from the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and analysts at mining consultancy Weir International, released an independent Exploration Target report with technical assessment of rare earth elements (REE) found at its Brook Mine in Wyoming. NETL researchers and Ramaco said then that the Brook Mine property contains perhaps the largest unconventional deposit of REEs discovered in the United States. (Earlier post.)

Ramaco has now announced that based on additional coring and chemical analysis, Weir has determined that the size of the REE Exploration Target has increased almost 50% to 0.9 - 1.2 million tons of total rare earth oxides (TREOs) from its initial target announced in May of 0.6 - 0.8 million tons.


As perspective, the United States has had an average domestic consumption of roughly 10,000 tons per year of REEs over the last ten years.

The deposit is estimated to contain approximately 29% of primary magnetic rare earth oxides (REOs) Neodymium, Praseodymium, Dysprosium, and Terbium as well as secondary magnetic REOs. As previously reported, this current assessment has only been conducted on one third of the area of the Brook Mine.


Updated Brook Mine rare earth element distribution. Source: Weir International Inc.

A month ago, China announced new export controls on gallium and germanium, two critical minerals with wide use in semiconductors, communications and defense. Early cores at the Brook Mine suggest that in addition to large percentages of magnetic REOs, the Brook deposit also contains meaningful amounts of each of these banned metals. Further drilling and chemical assessments are ongoing to more precisely determine the size of deposits of these two minerals.

n conjunction with the development, Ramaco recently retained a wide group of leading rare earth mining, metallurgy, mineralogy and economic experts, including leading rare earth mining consultancy SRK Consulting. These firms will work both with the company and alongside NETL researchers to prepare mineral and metallurgical assessments, as well as initial economic assessment and pre-feasibility studies.

This analysis will also inform the appropriate forms and techniques of processing, separation and recovery of the rare earths and carbon ore. Ramaco expects to also work with other Department of Energy national laboratories, including NETL, in assessing the deposit and its potential vertical development to magnet production.

Ramaco also announced that its Board of Directors has approved the commencement of initial mine development to begin this Fall. This would make the Brook Mine the first new rare earth mine in the United States since the Mountain Pass Rare Earth Mine in California in 1952, currently the United States’ only operating mine for these critical elements and minerals.

Ramaco anticipates spending roughly $2.5 million over two quarters for initial development for both rare earth and carbon ore/coal mining.


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