December 8, 2021 – Commerce Resources Corp. (TSXv: CCE, FSE: D7H0, OTCQX: CMRZF) (the “Company” or “Commerce”) is pleased to announce assay results from Saville Resources Inc.’s (TSXv: SRE, FSE: S0J) (“Saville Resources”) maiden drill program (EC21-178, 179, 180, and 181) completed on the Miranna Prospect as part of its 2021 diamond drill program at the Niobium Claim Group Property (the “Property”), owned by Commerce. The Property covers several prospective and advanced-stage niobium-tantalum targets, where Saville Resources is completing an Earn-in Agreement for up to a 75% interest in the claim group.
The 2021 drill program, completed in July, included seven (7) holes totalling 1,349 m split over two prospects – Mallard (681 m over 3 holes) and the Miranna Prospect (668 m over 4 holes). The results of the drill holes targeting the Mallard Prospect were announced November 1st, 2021, and include the best niobium intersection to date. The maiden drilling at Miranna followed and has also demonstrated the potential for >1% Nb2O5 mineralization at depth.
Core sample assay highlights at Miranna include:
- 4 m of 0.72% Nb2O5 and 5.7% P2O5 (EC21-180), including,
- 1 m of 1.20% Nb2O5 and 7.6% P2O5, or
- 6 m of 0.97% Nb2O5 and 6.4% P2O5
The four drill holes completed by Saville Resources at Miranna are the first to date to test the Miranna Prospect and were scoping in nature. Each drill hole, ranging in depth from 140 m to 236 m, was designed to test a different area of the geophysical anomaly that defines the prospect – the north-northwest margin, east-northeast margin, and the anomaly centre – with the objective of identifying the most prospective area for follow-up. Saville Resources also reported that drill hole EC21-180 achieved this objective, returning significant mineralization downhole, including 1.20% Nb2O5 over 3.1 m within a larger interval of 0.72% Nb2O5 over 20.4 m. The potential of this area is further emphasized by the additional mineralization encountered from surface in drill hole EC21-180 at 0.61% Nb2O5 over 7.9 m. Core assay highlights for all four (4) Miranna holes are presented in Table 1 and Figure 1.
Table 1: 2021 drill hole results for the Mallard and Miranna prospects
The high-grade mineralization encountered in EC21-180 is hosted within dark grey phoscorite to cream-grey phoscorite-calcite carbonatite units with minor to abundant magnetite and local dolomitization. This rock type and mineralogy is consistent with one of the common rock types present in the high-grade boulder train, in which the bedrock source is interpreted to be the Miranna geophysical anomaly (Figure 2).
The high-grade mineralization encountered in the 2021 Miranna and Mallard drill holes is present within 110 m of surface and is locally known to reach surface. Coupled with the presence of numerous high-grade, glacially dispersed boulders, suggests that open-pit extraction methods may be potentially applicable in a development scenario. By comparison, several of the more advanced niobium focused projects in North America are being developed using underground extraction scenarios due to significant amounts of overburden, including North America’s only operating niobium mine – Niobec. Overburden thickness at Miranna and Mallard is less than 10 m.
Saville Resources also announced that the field programs were carried-out while adhering to all federal, provincial, and regional restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The process to enter Nunavik was successfully navigated with authorization obtained to complete the planned field activities. Mineral exploration has been recognized as an essential service in Canada and the Province of Quebec. Saville Resources also reported that no cases of COVID-19 were documented with respect to the 2021 exploration program.
Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QAQC)
A quality assurance / quality control protocol following industry best practices was incorporated by Saville Resources 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 niobium, tantalum, and major oxides by X-ray fluorescence (package 8-Coltan XRF + Major Oxides) 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).
The Company also announces that it has granted an aggregate of 2,500,000 stock options (each, an “Option”) to certain directors, officers, employees and consultants of the Company for the purchase of up to 2,500,000 common shares of the Company pursuant to its Stock Option Plan. Each Option is exercisable for a period of two (2) years at a price of $0.23 per common share. Of these Options, 150,000 are being granted to persons providing investor relations services to the Company and, pursuant to the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange, must vest over 12 months from the issuance date, with 25% vesting in each three (3) month period after the grant of the Options.
Figure 1: 2021 drill assay highlights – Miranna Prospect
Figure 2: Miranna mineralized boulder train
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.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors
COMMERCE RESOURCES CORP.
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 believe the niobium potential at the Mallard and Miranna prospects to be promising; that an open pit extraction method may be potentially applicable; and that there is potential for additional mineralization in the Miranna area based on the results of drill hole EC21-180, 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. 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 our contracted engineering firms, or those contracted by Saville Resources, may not be able to provide engineering solutions which are effective or can be implemented economically; changing costs for mining and processing; increased capital costs; 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 or the process utilized by Saville Resources on our Property 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, equipment and markets for the products produced; and despite the current expected viability of the project, conditions changing such that the minerals on our Property cannot be economically mined, if at all, or that the required permits to build and operate the envisaged mine can be obtained. 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.