Commerce Resources Corp. (TSX-V: CCE) (FSE: D7H0) (OTCQX: CMRZF) is pleased to announce assay results received for the final two holes completed at the Ashram Rare Earth and Fluorspar Deposit as part of the 2021 drill program. The field program, completed in July-August 2021 in support of the Ashram Project’s Prefeasibility Study, included twelve drill holes totaling 2,814 m focused on resource infill within the planned open-pit shell. Results for the first ten drill holes were announced December 22nd, 2021, and January 17 and February 7, 2022 (Table 1 and Figure 1) with the results for the final two drill holes reported herein. Highlights include:
The primary objective of the 2021 drill program at Ashram was to improve the confidence of the mineral resource (inferred -> indicated -> measured) in support of an updated mineral resource estimate to be completed as part of the ongoing Prefeasibility Study, which will also determine the initial mineral reserve estimate for the Ashram Project. Based on the drilling to date, the Company anticipates a large portion of Ashram’s current inferred and indicated resources will be converted to indicated and measured resources.
Company President Chris Grove states “We are excited to finally have all of these drill results returned to us, as they are excellent and are indicative of the huge and well mineralized deposit that the Ashram is. With the REE industry being more focused on monazite dominant mineralogy, as the Ashram is, we look forward to releasing more results from the other programs that are currently underway.”
Both drill holes (EC21-189 and 192) were collared in the south-central portions of the deposit, and intersected grades consistent with previous drilling, remaining mineralized over their entire length. Strong NdPr distributions (i.e. % of Nd+Pr oxide of the total REO) continue to be returned in excess of 20-21%, including drill hole EC21-192 with 129.5 m of 2.07% REO at an NdPr distribution of 21.5%. Core sample assays for all twelve (12) drill holes completed during the 2021 drill program have now been received, with grade over width and corresponding NdPr oxide distributions presented in Table 1, and drill hole highlights and locations presented in Figure 1.
Table 1: 2021 assay results for infill drill holes at the Ashram Deposit
As the Ashram Deposit is known to continue for more than 600 m in depth, and remains open, the 2021 drill holes were ended at pre-determined depths below the anticipated pit shell, and therefore, most holes completed as part of the infill drilling at Ashram ended in mineralization.
The results of the 2021 drill program continue to highlight the size of the Ashram Deposit as well as continuity of the REE mineralization, extending from surface to considerable depth. The Company is planning to complete an approximate 2,500 m drill program this summer at Ashram and will focus on continued infill to improve the confidence of the mineral resource (inferred -> indicated -> measured), as well as on the southern portion of the deposit where limited drilling has been completed by comparison and the deposit remains open.
The Company notes that it carried out its field programs while adhering to all federal, provincial, and regional restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Company successfully navigated the process to obtain authorization to enter Nunavik, and no cases of COVID-19 were documented relating to its 2021 mineral exploration programs. Mineral exploration has been recognized as an essential service in Canada and the Province of Quebec.
Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QAQC)
A quality assurance / quality control protocol following industry best practices was incorporated into the program and included systematic insertion of quartz blanks and certified reference materials into sample batches, as well as collection of quarter-core duplicates, at a rate of approximately 5%. Drill holes were sampled from top to bottom and shipped to Activation Laboratories in Ancaster, ON, for analysis.
Lab analysis included major oxides and multi-element, including the rare earth elements, by ICP-OES/MS following a lithium borate fusion (package 8-REE) and fluorine by Fusion Specific Ion Electrode-ISE (Code 4F-F). Standard drill core sample preparation was completed and comprised of crushing to 80% passing 10 mesh, followed by a 250 g riffle split and pulverizing to 95% passing 105 µ (package RX1).
Figure 1: 2021 drill assay highlights – Ashram Deposit
About the Ashram Deposit
The Ashram Deposit ranks as one of the largest REE (and fluorspar) deposits globally, consisting of a monazite dominated, single mineralized body outcropping at surface, and has a footprint approximately 600 m along strike, over 300 m across, and 600 m deep, remaining open in several directions. The deposit hosts a measured resource of 1.6 million tonnes (Mt) at 1.77% rare earth oxide (REO) and 3.8% F, an indicated resource of 27.7 Mt at 1.90% REO and 2.9% F, and an inferred resource of 219.8 Mt at 1.88% REO and 2.2% F, at a cut-off grade of 1.25% REO (Effective Date July 5th, 2012). 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.
NI 43-101 Disclosure
Darren L. Smith, M.Sc., P.Geo., Dahrouge Geological Consulting Ltd., a Permit holder with the Ordre des Géologues du Québec and ‘Qualified Person’ as defined in National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, supervised the preparation of the technical information in this news release.
About Commerce Resources Corp.
Commerce Resources Corp. 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, xenotime) and gangue (carbonates) mineralogy, a large tonnage resource at favourable grade, and has demonstrated the production of high-grade (>45% REO) mineral concentrates at high recovery (>70%) 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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