New CEO takes over RER

Hannah Gross, NLJ Correspondent

After serving as president, chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors for Rare Element Resources Ltd. since December 2011, Randall Scott retired on Oct. 31, and Brent Berg has been appointed the new president and CEO, according to an RER press release from Oct. 18. 

According to his biography on the company’s website, Berg is an environmental engineer and project management professional with 25 years of experience. He received a bachelor’s degree in regional environmental systems engineering and a master’s degree from the University of Regina (Saskatchewan, Canada).

Berg has experience in the mining and minerals processing industry for Cameco Corp.’s Smith Ranch, Cameco Resources, Excelsior Mining Corp. and Taseko Mines. He moved to Wyoming in 2011 to work in the uranium mining sector until relocating to Arizona in 2019 to work in the copper mining industry. 

Gerald Grandey, the RER board chairman, who has previously worked with Berg, said in the release that Berg was selected unanimously as a “proven mining professional.” Berg officially assumed his duties on Nov. 1 and said he is looking forward to the new role. 

“The transition has been great. I am so enthusiastic to learn more about rare earths and the rare earth market, as they are truly unique in the resource sector,” Berg said. “I am blessed with a very bright and talented team, who have been very welcoming.”

RER mines and produces rare earth resources for technology, energy and defense applications. Its processing and demonstration plant is located in Upton, “with planned completion of engineering and design by the end of 2022 and construction commencing in the summer of 2023,” the release states. 

“This project represents a major step in developing a ‘Made in the USA’ source for these materials, and in Wyoming, a wonderful state that understands the importance of resource development, especially in diversification of its resource base,” Berg said.

As the new CEO, Berg said, he is excited to continue the progress of the Upton plant and feels that RER’s vision aligns with his goals as a project development specialist. He said RER is “setting a new standard” for processing and separating these elements. 

“Rare earth minerals have a very bright future being essential for electronics, laser systems, as well as many evolving green technologies like electric and hybrid cars and wind turbines,” Berg said. “We are focused on successful construction and operation of the demonstration plant to prove the operational flow sheet and scalability for final plant design of a commercial-scale rare earth separation and processing facility.”

Berg said he and his wife are finalizing the purchase of a home in Casper and are looking forward to living in Wyoming again because he will be closer to family. 

“My kids live in Wyoming and having more family time together is important to us all,” Berg said.

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