Toronto, ON -- Avalon
Rare Metals Inc. (TSX and NYSE
("Avalon" or the "Company")
is pleased to provide an update on progress
on the Nechalacho rare earth
elements feasibility study, Thor Lake, NWT, and to announce
the appointment of Mr. Tim Butler as Vice President, Human Resources.
NECHALACHO FEASIBILITY STUDY UPDATE
Work on the Feasibility Study ("FS") on the Nechalacho
rare earth elements project, being carried out by SNC-Lavalin,
is progressing steadily and remains on target for completion at the end of 2012. Project permitting
is also now proceeding on schedule and it is anticipated that the necessary permits will be in place to allow
construction activities to begin
in mid-2013. Negotiations toward
accommodation agreements with
local Aboriginal groups are nearing
The 40 tonne full scale pilot
plant trial on Basal Zone ore was completed in February at SGS Minerals, Lakefield, Ontario. While
final reports are pending, the two main objectives of the pilot plant were achieved. The primary objective was to produce a concentrate for
the hydrometallurgical pilot plant and six
tonnes of concentrate were
The second objective was to confirm previous flotation testwork results and identify opportunities for process optimization. Initial results
indicate that the recoveries achieved were consistent with those achieved previously at the bench-scale, except for one
sub-sample from the lowermost part of the Basal Zone where,
as expected, observed
textural differences in the ore resulted in reduced recoveries. Further work on the process flowsheet is required to optimize the recoveries from this material. The pilot
plant trial also identified
opportunities to simplify
the reagent scheme
and reduce costs.
A follow up flotation
pilot plant trial on a two to three tonne sample has been
scheduled for May 2012, with
the objective of finalizing plant design parameters for the FS.
The results of the SNC-Lavalin prefeasibility study for the proposed separation plant are expected
to be available in
April 2012. The separation plant site selection process is also progressing.
The Mineral Resource update to incorporate all the 2011 Nechalacho
drilling data is being carried out by Roscoe
Postle Associates, Toronto, ON, and is also expected
to be finalized in
VICE PRESIDENT, HUMAN RESOURCES
Mr. Tim Butler has joined the Company as Vice-President, Human Resources to lead the
to advance the Nechalacho
project through development, construction and operations.
Mr. Butler is a senior human
and has worked with some of the world's largest resource companies with
international experience in Canada, USA, Australia and South America.
Mr. Butler was most
recently the Vice President,
Human Resources -
Business Unit Operations with the Mosaic Company, the world's leading producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash,
where he provided executive oversight for the delivery
and execution of all strategic
HR initiatives within Operations.
Prior to Mosaic, Mr. Butler worked for the Iron Ore Company of Canada and for BHP Billiton where he was instrumental in staffing
the Ekati operation
in the Northwest Territories, Canada's first Diamond
mine. At Ekati, he negotiated and administered impact and benefits
agreements with aboriginal organizations
and governments, and established
training and development plans to support a
culture of excellence and safe performance at this world-class operation.
Mr. Butler has been the Employer representative
on the Board of Directors
of NWT and Nunavut Workers' Compensation Board serving also as Chairman of the Policy Committee
and member of the Executive
Committee. He holds Bachelor of Arts in Economics
and Bachelor of Commerce degrees.
He also has a Graduate
Certificate in Human Resources from Royal Roads University.
Commenting on today's announcement,
Don Bubar, President
and CEO said, "We
are pleased to add a professional of Tim's caliber to our management
team. His prior experience in the Northwest Territories
will be invaluable to Avalon as Tim thoroughly
understands, and has worked
through, the challenges in recruiting
the required talent for a remote
Rare Metals Inc. (TSX and NYSE
Avalon Rare Metals Inc. is a mineral development company focused on rare metals deposits in Canada. Its flagship project, the 100%-owned Nechalacho Deposit, Thor Lake, NWT, is
emerging as one of the largest
undeveloped rare earth
elements resources in
the world. Its exceptional
enrichment in the more valuable
'heavy' rare earth elements, which are key to enabling advances in green energy technology and other growing high-tech
applications, is one of the few potential sources of these critical elements outside of China, currently
the source of 95% of world supply. Avalon is well funded,
has no debt and its work programs are progressing
steadily. Social responsibility
and environmental stewardship
are corporate cornerstones.
Shares Outstanding: 103,186,986. Cash resources: approximately $54 million.
To find out more about Avalon Rare
Metals Inc., please visit our website at www.avalonraremetals.com. For questions and feedback, please
e-mail the Company at
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Don Bubar, President at 416-364-4938.