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Commerce Resources Corp (2)
Symbol CCE
Shares Issued 50,890,293
Close 2020-11-24 C$ 0.225
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Commerce Resources to produce REE mineral concentrate

2020-11-24 08:21 ET - News Release

Mr. Chris Grove reports


Commerce Resources Corp. has initiated a metallurgical program to produce a high-grade rare earth element (REE) mineral concentrate to satisfy a processor's request. The mineral concentrate will be produced from the Ashram rare earth and fluorspar deposit using the conventional recovery flow sheet developed at Hazen Research in Colorado, United States.

The Ashram deposit's flow sheet has undergone significant development, including front-end piloting of the grinding, flotation and leach circuits. The production of the requested mineral concentrate sample is expected to utilize the leach residue that was generated from this piloting completed in late 2015. The leach residue will be processed through the final magnetic separation stage to obtain the desired mineral concentrate grade (a high-grade monazite mineral concentrate). Following the production of this sample, the company intends to continue to produce mineral concentrate for downstream processing, including piloting, to various mixed and partially separated rare earth products to satisfy other third party sample requests.

The Ashram deposit is one of only a select group of deposits in development globally that can produce mineral concentrate at high recovery (over 70 per cent) and high grade (over 40 per cent rare earth oxides (REO)). All of the major hard-rock REE miners globally produce mineral concentrates of at least 40 per cent REO, which are then used for downstream processing to marketable products. Such high grades of mineral concentrate considerably reduce the downstream processing cost and risk through lower reagent use, fewer deleterious elements entering solution, and a smaller hydromet plant requirement by comparison.

The company has successfully produced mineral concentrates from the Ashram deposit exceeding 46 per cent REO at over 70-per-cent recovery using a conventional flow sheet approach of flotation, leaching and magnetic separation. The third party request to receive such a sample from Ashram is significant for several reasons.

Firstly, it is uncommon for mineral concentrates to be marketable outside of China, as the base saleable product is typically a downstream mixed rare earth carbonate or similar, which is the base feedstock to most REE separation facilities globally. Secondly, if successful and the company is able to directly market a mineral concentrate without the need for a downstream hydromet facility in place, this would allow for a quicker path to production at significantly lower capital expenditures and reduced technical risk. Further, it would allow for the downstream high-value product suite envisioned by the company, which requires a hydrometallurgical facility, to be partially financed with cash flow from mineral concentrate production. As the Ashram deposit is open pittable and one of the largest rare earth deposits in the world, it has significant flexibility in production capacity and ability to service both upstream and downstream rare earth product suites.

As an additional benefit, the company will also produce a fluorspar concentrate as the tailings to the REE recovery circuit. This will allow for further test work to upgrade the fluorspar concentrate, expected to initially grade about 80 per cent CaF2 in the tailings product, to acid-spar. By producing a tailings product of value, the company is also helping to do its part in advancing the circular economy, specifically in Quebec, where a significant amount of fluorspar is consumed in the aluminum industry, among others.

National Instrument 43-101 disclosure

Darren L. Smith, MSc, PGeo, Dahrouge Geological Consulting Ltd., a permit holder with the Ordre des Geologues du Quebec and qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, supervised the preparation of the technical information in this news release.

About Commerce Resources Corp.

Commerce Resources is an exploration and development company with a particular focus on deposits of rare metals and rare earth elements. The company is focused on the development of its Ashram rare earth element deposit in Quebec and the Upper Fir tantalum-niobium deposit in British Columbia.

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