Mr. Chris Grove reports
COMMERCE RESOURCES CORP. ANNOUNCES PROGRAM TO PRODUCE MIXED RARE EARTH CARBONATE CONCENTRATE PER THIRD-PARTY REQUESTS
Commerce Resources Corp. has initiated a metallurgical program to produce an over-one-kilogram quantity of mixed rare earth carbonate (mixed REC) concentrate to satisfy several requests by global processors. The mixed REC concentrate will be produced from the Ashram rare earth and fluorspar deposit using the high-grade mineral concentrates that have been generated from the conventional recovery flowsheet 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, which have resulted in consistent production of high-grade mineral concentrates at high recovery. The Ashram deposit is one of only a select group of deposits in development globally that can produce mineral concentrates at grades and recoveries similar to major global producers, all of which produce mineral concentrates of at least 40 per cent rare earth oxide (REO). Such high grades of mineral concentrate considerably reduce the downstream processing cost and risk to produce a mixed REC product through lower reagent use, fewer deleterious elements entering solution and a smaller hydromet plant requirement by comparison.
In the rare earth industry, a mixed REC concentrate is typically viewed as the initial marketable product in the rare earth element (REE) value chain. This is because a mixed REC is readily saleable as it is the most common feedstock to REE solvent extraction facilities globally, which separate each individual REE and allow for them to be individually refined into marketable products and disseminated throughout their downstream value chains.
In addition to Ashram's simple mineralogy and processing, large tonnage, and near-surface resource at attractive grades, a primary interest of downstream processors is the relatively high proportions of neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) present with respect to the total rare earth content (the REE distribution). With a combined NdPr distribution of approximately 20 to 24 per cent, due to the deposit's monazite, bastnaesite and xenotime mineralogy, Ashram has the potential to produce a relatively higher value feedstock for those facilities focused on the extraction of NdPr for the rare earth permanent magnet industry. A higher NdPr distribution also equates to a reduced percentage content of cerium and lanthanum -- significantly lower value REEs -- which must also be processed to obtain the targeted NdPr. The Ashram deposit's NdPr distribution is significantly higher than several major global producers, highlighting the attractiveness of its higher value NdPr feedstock entering the supply chain.
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 a junior mineral resource company focused on the development the Ashram rare earth and fluorspar deposit located in Quebec, Canada. The company is positioning to be one of the lowest cost rare earth producers globally, with a specific focus on being a long-term supplier of mixed REC and/or NdPr oxide to the global market. The Ashram deposit is characterized by simple rare earth (monazite, bastnaesite, xenotime) and gangue mineralogy (carbonates), a large tonnage resource at favourable grade, and has demonstrated the production of high-grade (over 45 per cent REO) mineral concentrates at high recovery (over 70 per cent) in line with active global producers. In addition to being one of the largest rare earth deposits globally, Ashram is also one of the largest fluorspar deposits globally and has the potential to be a long-term supplier to the met-spar and acid-spar markets.
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