Mr. Chris Grove reports
COMMERCE RESOURCES CORP. ANNOUNCES THE DELIVERY OF ACID-SPAR SAMPLE
Commerce Resources Corp. has delivered a sample of acid-spar produced from the Ashram rare earth and fluorspar deposit to an industry major as per its request. The 0.5-kilogram sample grades greater than 97 per cent CaF2 (calcium fluoride) and was produced by Hazen Research using the front-end beneficiation approach developed at its facilities in Colorado (see news release dated Nov. 30, 2020). Hazen Research is also developing the primary rare earth element (REE) recovery flowsheet. Two base approaches have been developed to allow for fluorspar recovery at high-grades and will continue to be evaluated to determine the optimal method while also maximizing the total REE recovery.
Over the past several months, as the company has demonstrated its ability to recover acid-spar from its Ashram rare earth and fluorspar deposit, numerous sample requests have been received from various global commodity trading companies, as well as specific end-users. The interest in the market for new sources of fluorspar continues to increase and places the Ashram deposit in an enviable position to capitalize on a byproduct that has negligible impact on its primary REE recovery circuit.
Company president Chris Grove stated: "We are very pleased with the positive results achieved by Hazen in the production of this sample of acid-grade fluorspar, and we are excited to have delivered this sample as per industry request. We look forward to the achievement of additional milestones financed by the recent closure of both financings undertaken, and, finally, we are very appreciative of the interest we have received from investors in the ongoing developments of our Ashram REE/fluorspar deposit."
In addition to being one of the largest rare earth deposits globally, the Ashram deposit is also one of the largest fluorspar deposits globally. The production of REEs and fluorspar is currently dominated by China, placing Ashram in a unique position to potentially address the supply concerns of these two critical commodities. Both REEs and fluorspar are considered critical/strategic commodities by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the European Union.
Fluorspar (CaF2) is an essential raw material to the steel, aluminum and chemical industries in two marketable products: acid spar grade and met spar grade.
Acid-spar (over 97 per cent CaF2), accounting for roughly 60 per cent of the market, is primarily used to synthesize hydrofluoric acid (HF) and subsequent fluorochemicals, and in the production of aluminum metal, to reduce process temperatures and energy consumption. It is also a key raw ingredient of materials used in enhancing the operational performance of lithium-ion batteries.
Met-spar (over 60 per cent CaF2), accounting for roughly 40 per cent of the global fluorspar market, is primarily used as a flux in the steel making process to lower the melting temperature, to reduce slag viscosity and remove impurities.
Similar to the prevailing dynamics for rare earth elements, China was historically the largest exporter of fluorspar. However, in the last three years, China has become a net importer. This has caused significant price appreciation for fluorspar, and market interest from industry in new sources.
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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