(In U.S. dollars unless noted)
Feb 9 (Reuters) - Rare Element Resources reported a wider quarterly loss on Thursday as the mining exploration company ramped up drilling at its Bear Lodge project in the United States and wrote down a rare earth property in Canada.
The company reported a loss of $10.1 million, or 23 cents per share, compared with a loss of $2.6 million, or 7 cents a share in the year-ago period.
The loss included $3.8 million in exploration spending at the Bear Lodge property, a promising rare earth deposit in Wyoming. Rare Element plans to release a prefeasibility study on the project in the first quarter of 2012.
The company also incurred a charge of $900,000 to write down its Nuiklavik property in Newfoundland and Labrador. Rare Element bought the property in 2010.
Rare earths, a group of 17 metals that are essential for technology items like smartphones, are mainly produced in China. The prices of the individual oxides and metals have soared over the last few years as China repeatedly clamped down on export quotas. (Reporting by Julie Gordon; editing by Rob Wilson)