December 22, 2021 – Commerce Resources Corp. (TSXv: CCE, FSE: D7H0, OTCQX: CMRZF) (the “Company” or “Commerce”) is pleased to announce assay results received for the first four (4) holes completed at the Ashram Rare Earth and Fluorspar Deposit (“Ashram 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 (12) drill holes totalling 2,814 m focused on resource infill within the planned open-pit shell.
Core sample assay highlights include:
- 2.19% rare earth oxide (“REO”) over 302.0 m (EC21-187), including,
- 2.94% REO over 35.5 m
- 2.14% REO over 222.7 m (EC21-185), including,
- 2.35% over 93.5 m
- 1.71% REO over 297.6 m (EC21-183), including,
- 2.25% over 25.3 m
- 2.44% REO over 24.0 m (EC21-182)
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 four (4) drill holes collared in mineralization starting at depths of 1.4 – 4.7 m (core length), consistent with previous drilling, with three (3) of the drill holes remaining mineralized over their entire length. The grades of the infill drilling at Ashram continue to remain strong compared to the current resources’ head grades, with wide intervals of greater than 2% REO common.
In addition, 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 21% NdPr oxide distribution in EC21-187’s 302.0 m interval of 2.19% REO. The high distribution of NdPr oxide 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 EC21-182 was completed as a vertical step-out at the northern margin of the deposit. The hole collared in mineralization before trending out of and back into at depth, indicating the geometry of the deposit in this location flares out near surface. The northern margin of the deposit remains open with mineralization continuing to be intersected in step-out holes, as is evidenced by EC21-182.
Drill holes EC21-183 and 187, 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.
Drill hole EC21-185 was completed in the central area of the deposit and returned strong mineralization, as expected, at 2.14% REO (20.3% NdPr oxide distribution) over 222.7 m, including 2.35% over 93.5 m. This drill hole ended in strong mineralization with the last 15 m of the hole averaging 2.88% REO, and the last sample assaying 2.69% REO.
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, including EC21-182, 183, 185, and 187.
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 enter Nunavik with authorization obtained to complete its planned field activities. Mineral exploration has been recognized as an essential service in Canada and the Province of Quebec. The Company is also pleased to report that no cases of COVID-19 were documented related to the 2021 exploration program.
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).
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.
Figure 1: 2021 drill assay highlights – Ashram Deposit
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.
For more information, please visit the corporate website at www.commerceresources.com or email email@example.com.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors
COMMERCE RESOURCES CORP.
President and Director
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements, which includes any information about activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future. Forward looking statements in this news release include that we expect to complete an updated mineral resource estimate and a prefeasibility study for the Ashram Project, that we anticipate that certain of Ashram’s inferred and indicated resources will be converted to indicate and measured resources; that an open-pit shell is planned for the Ashram Project; and that the Company is positioning to be one of the lowest cost rare earth producers globally. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. Risks that could change or prevent these statements from coming to fruition include: that we may not be able to fully finance any additional exploration on the Ashram Project; that even if we are able raise capital, costs for exploration activities may increase such that we may not have sufficient funds to pay for such exploration or processing activities; the timing and content of any future work programs; geological interpretations based on drilling that may change with more detailed information; potential process methods and mineral recoveries assumptions based on limited test work and by comparison to what are considered analogous deposits that, with further test work, may not be comparable; testing of our process may not prove successful and even if such tests are successful, the economic and other outcomes may not be as expected; the availability of labour and equipment to undertake future exploration work and testing activities; the required permits to build and operate the envisaged open-pit shell may not be obtained in a timely or cost-effective manner, or at all; and despite the current expected viability of the Ashram Project, conditions changing such that even if metals or minerals are discovered on the Ashram Project, the project may not be commercially viable; The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof and the Company assumes no responsibility to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.