Mr. Chris Grove reports
COMMERCE RESOURCES CORP. COMPLETES SUMMER DRILL PROGRAM AT THE ASHRAM RARE EARTH AND FLUORSPAR DEPOSIT
Commerce Resources Corp. has completed its 2021 diamond drill program at the Ashram rare earth and fluorspar deposit, located in Northern Quebec.
A total of 2,814 metres of NQ size coring was completed over 12 drill holes at the Ashram deposit, targeting further delineation of the mineralized body. The company is happy to report that the drilling advanced faster than anticipated, allowing for additional metreage to be completed beyond that planned while remaining within budget. In addition, the company benefited from sharing support costs such as drill rig mobilization and camp operation from the overlapping drill program of Saville Resources Inc. on the proximal niobium claim group, where it holds an option from the company. Both programs were managed by Dahrouge Geological Consulting Ltd. of Edmonton, Alta., with drilling operations being carried out by Logan Drilling Ltd. of Stewiacke, N.S.
The company's drill program largely focused on the central areas of the deposit, within the preliminary pit shell being considered for the continuing prefeasibility study (PFS), and where the neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr) contents are highest. Depending on the location within the deposit, the NdPr distribution typical varies from 21 per cent to 24-plus per cent with monazite being the dominant carrier of the rare earth elements (REEs). Drill hole depths ranged from 152 metres to 302 metres core length. Due to the depth of the pit shell being considered for an initial 25-year mine life as part of the PFS, the drill holes were terminated at predetermined depths and commonly ended in A zone, which is the most well-mineralized rock type in the deposit.
The drill core is currently being processed on-site and is anticipated to be shipped to Activation Laboratories in Ancaster, Ont., shortly for analysis with results to be released as received. In addition to the drill program, this fall the company plans to carry out hydrology studies on-site in support of the PFS, as well as complete several qualified person site visits.
The Ashram deposit ranks as one of the largest REE (and fluorspar) deposits globally, consisting of a single mineralized body outcropping at surface, and has a mineralized footprint approximately 600 metres along strike, over 350 metres across and 600 metres deep, remaining open in several directions. The deposit hosts a measured resource of 1.6 million tonnes at 1.77 per cent rare earth oxide (REO) and 3.8 per cent F, an indicated resource of 27.7 million tonnes at 1.90 per cent REO and 2.9 per cent F, and an inferred resource of 219.8 million tonnes at 1.88 per cent REO and 2.2 per cent F, at a cut-off grade of 1.25 per cent REO. Note, mineral resources are not mineral reserves as they do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that all or any part of the mineral resources will be converted into mineral reserves.
The company notes that it continues to carry out its field programs while adhering to all federal, provincial and regional restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has successfully navigated the process to enter Nunavik and obtained authorization to complete its planned field activities. Mineral exploration has been recognized as an essential service in Canada and the province of Quebec.
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 oxide to the global market. The Ashram deposit is characterized by simple rare earth (monazite, bastnaesite and xenotime) and gangue (carbonates) mineralogy, a large tonnage resource at favourable grade, and has demonstrated the production of high-grade (greater than 45 per cent REO) 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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