Mr. Chris Grove reports
COMMERCE RESOURCES CORP. DELIVERS HIGH-GRADE 44.3% REO MONAZITE CONCENTRATE TO THIRD-PARTY PROCESSOR
Commerce Resources Corp. has delivered a sample of high-grade monazite mineral concentrate from the Ashram rare earth and fluorspar deposit to an industry processor per its request (see news release dated Nov. 24, 2020). The 1.0-kilogram sample grades 44.3 per cent rare earth oxide (REO) and was produced using the conventional recovery flowsheet developed by Hazen Research at its facilities in Colorado. The delivery of the monazite mineral concentrate follows on the heels of the 0.5 kg sample of acid-grade fluorspar recently delivered to an industry major (see news release dated Dec. 31, 2020).
Company president Chris Grove stated: "We are very pleased to provide this sample to satisfy a third party request by an industry REE processor. Ashram has a very favourable rare earth mineralogy that is dominated by monazite -- a well-known and easily processable mineral for REEs, as well as one having an affinity for high distributions of NdPr (neodymium-praseodymium). Ashram is one of only a select few projects in development that is capable of producing high-grade mineral concentrates at high recoveries, making it an attractive feed source for REE mineral processors, and then for downstream permanent magnet manufacturers."
The production of the monazite mineral concentrate sample by the company utilized the leach residue that was generated from the pilot plant program completed in 2015. The leach residue was further processed by flotation and magnetic separation to produce about 1.0 kg of mineral concentrate grading 44.3 per cent REO. Based on XRD (X-ray diffraction) analysis, the mineral concentrate contains 54.2 per cent monazite, 3.8 per cent bastnasite, as well as 3.0 per cent xenotime. Further, the NdPr oxide distribution of the concentrate is 21.2 per cent, which is higher than several major global producers.
The Ashram deposit's flowsheet has undergone significant development, including front-end piloting of the grinding, flotation and leach circuits, as well as downstream bench work. A primary focus for the company has been on this front-end beneficiation process to produce high-grade mineral concentrate. The Ashram deposit is one of only a select group of deposits in development globally that can produce mineral concentrate at high recovery (greater than 70 per cent) and high grade (greater than 40 per cent REO). All major hardrock 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.
Following the production of this monazite mineral concentrate sample, the company continues to advance its metallurgical programs at Hazen Research, which have been designed to both satisfy several key industry sample requests, as well as obtain the remaining design criteria required to complete the prefeasibility study for the Ashram rare earth and fluorspar project.
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 of 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 rare earth carbonate and/or NdPr (neodymium/praseodymium) oxide to the global market. The Ashram deposit is characterized by simple rare earth (monazite, bastnaesite and xenotime) and gangue (carbonates) mineralogy and a large-tonnage resource at favourable grade, and it has demonstrated the production of high-grade (greater than 45 per cent rare earth oxide) mineral concentrates at high recovery (greater than 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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