Commerce Resources Corp. (TSX-V: CCE) (FSE: D7H0) (OTCQX: CMRZF) is pleased to announce assay results received from three 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 totalling 2,814 m focused on resource infill within the planned open-pit shell. Results for the first four drill holes were announced December 22nd, 2021 (noted in Table 1 and Figure 1) with the results for an additional three 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.
All three drill holes (EC21-184, 186, and 193) collared in and bottomed in mineralization starting at depths of 1.9 to 3.7 m (core length), consistent with previous drilling, remaining mineralized over their entire length.
The NdPr oxide distribution (i.e. % of Nd+Pr oxide of the total REO) continues to remain very strong compared to active global producers, and commonly ranges from 19 – 24+%, including a 22.2% NdPr oxide distribution in EC21-193’s 274.3 m interval of 1.78% REO. The relatively high NdPr oxide distribution at Ashram is a result of the monazite dominate rare earth mineralogy and unique chemistry and equates to a relatively high-value end-product that Ashram could supply the market with over the long-term. Grade over width and corresponding NdPr oxide distributions are presented in Table 1, with drill hole highlights and locations presented in Figure 1.
Table 1: 2021 drill hole results for infill drill holes at the Ashram Deposit
Drill hole EC21-186 was completed as a vertical infill hole in the west-central area of the deposit. The hole collared in a zone rich in Nd-Pr, with an NdPr oxide distribution of 26% over 52.5 m at 1.16% REO, remaining mineralized over its entire length and ending in a higher-grade zone of 2.07% REO over 35.0 m at an NdPr oxide distribution of 20%.
Drill holes EC21-184 and 193, were part of a group of four (4) holes (EC21-183, 184, 187, and 193) which targeted the region beneath the shallow bay (<1.5 m water depth) on Centre Pond, in the north-central area of the deposit. These drill holes were completed at various orientations, resulting in the drill holes crossing the deposit at different oblique angles, and were primarily completed to help constrain the geological model. The drill holes continue to re-enforce the strong mineralization (and NdPr distribution) in this area of the deposit and is further highlighted by EC21-193 with 2.09% REO over 110.4 m at an NdPr oxide distribution of 21%.
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. Core sample assays for seven out of twelve drill holes from the 2021 drill program have now been reported with assays pending on the remaining five drill holes.
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
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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