November 1, 2021 – Commerce Resources Corp. (TSXv: CCE, FSE: D7H0, OTCQX: CMRZF) (the “Company” or “Commerce”) is pleased to announce sample assay results for the first three (3) drill holes from Saville Resources Inc.’s (TSXv: SRE, FSE: S0J) (“Saville Resources”) 2021 diamond drill program at the Niobium Claim Group Property (the “Property”), located in northern Quebec. 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). Core sample assay highlights at Mallard include:
- 3 m of 0.82% Nb2O5, 153 ppm Ta2O5, and 8.7% P2O5 (EC21-175), including,
- 1 m of 1.00% Nb2O5, 136 ppm Ta2O5, and 8.3% P2O5, or
- 1 m of 1.39% Nb2O5, 148 ppm Ta2O5, and 12.0% P2O5,
- 4 m of 0.84% Nb2O5, 186 ppm Ta2O5, and 11.3% P2O5 (EC21-176), including,
- 8 m of 1.06% Nb2O5, 151 ppm Ta2O5, and 12.9% P2O5
- 7 m of 0.61% Nb2O5, 251 ppm Ta2O5, and 6.8% P2O5 (EC21-177)
The initial three holes of the drill program, completed at the at the Mallard Prospect (EC21-175, 176, and 177), were designed as 50 m step-outs along strike to the southeast of the high-grade intersection in drill hole EC19-174A, which was completed as the final drill hole of the 2019 program, returning 1.36% Nb2O5 over 4.5 m, within a larger interval of 0.80% Nb2O5 over 31.5 m (see news release dated June 11th, 2019). The Company is pleased to report that the 2021 drill program has returned the best niobium intercept to date from the Property at 1.00% Nb2O5 over 17.1 m, within a larger interval of 0.82% Nb2O5 over 42.3 m, including a peak sample assay of 1.73% Nb2O5 (Table 1). In addition to the high-grades of niobium, drill intercepts continue to return coincident and significant tantalum and phosphate mineralization.
Table 1: 2021 drill hole results for the Mallard Prospect
|Prospect||Hole ID||From |
|Mallard||EC21-175||3.5||13.0||9.5||0.75||163||10.3||Collared in mineralization|
|or||115.5||120.6||5.1||1.39||148||12.0||1.73% Nb2O5 peak assay|
|Mallard||EC21-176||53.5||71.0||17.5||0.70||39||7.4||1.16% Nb2O5 peak assay|
|104.9||117.2||12.4||0.84||186||11.3||1.19% Nb2O5 peak assay|
|140.1||148.0||7.9||0.78||203||4.5||1.30% Nb2O5 peak assay|
|(1) Analytical detection limit for Ta2O5 is 0.002%|
|(2) Intervals reported are core length. True width is not fully constrained; however, data indicates core length widths approximate 90%+ of true width|
|(3) All drill holes are NQ core size, with approximate azimuth/dip of 230°/45°|
All drill holes completed at Mallard were completed at an orientation of 230°/45°, to cross-cut the local geological trend, with depths ranging from 221 to 239 m.
The Mallard Prospect is characterized by a series of sub-parallel, elongate, moderate-steeply dipping, northwest striking mineralized horizons that extend from surface and remain open in all directions. These higher-grade mineralized horizons are surrounded by halos of moderate to low grade niobium mineralization. Coincident and significant grades of tantalum and phosphate are also associated with both moderate and high-grade niobium zones. In addition, well-mineralized fluorite zones were encountered in the 2021 Mallard drill holes, supporting the interpreted extension of the fluorite zone to the southeast (Table 2).
Table 2: 2021 fluorspar drill intercepts at the Mallard Prospect
|Prospect||Hole ID||From |
|(1) Fluorspar content (CaF2) is approximated by multiplying the fluorine assay by 2.055 and assumes the fluorspar is the sole source to the fluorine.|
|(2) fluorspar intervals reported are core length. True width is not known|
Given the elongate nature of the mineralization at Mallard, as well as the moderate-steep dip, the mineralized horizons encountered at depth in each hole have a reasonable potential to continue down-dip, as well as up-dip and potentially to surface. Drill hole EC21-175 was collared in mineralization with 0.75% Nb2O5 over 9.5 m confirming potential for additional subparallel zones to the northeast, an area of Mallard that remains to be drill tested.
In addition, the high-grade mineralization encountered in the 2021 Mallard drill holes is present within 110 m of 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 Mallard ranges from 2 to 5 m.
Saville Resources is in the process of updating the geological model at Mallard, which will guide targeting for the next phase of drilling, planned for 2022.
Core sample assays for the four (4) drill holes (668 m) completed at the Miranna Prospect, immediately following the drilling at Mallard, have not yet been received. The drilling at Miranna, marks the first drill testing to date at that prospect.
The Miranna Prospect is characterized by a strongly mineralized (niobium-tantalum-phosphate), glacially dispersed boulder train with an apex that correlates with a distinct magnetic high anomaly. Sample assays of the mineralized boulders from the train include 5.93% Nb2O5, 310 ppm Ta2O5, and 11.5% P2O5; and 4.30% Nb2O5, 240 ppm Ta2O5, and 13.4% P2O5; as well as multiple additional samples grading >1% Nb2O5. The drill holes at Miranna are targeting the interpreted bedrock source of this mineralized boulder train. Geological logging of the 2021 Miranna drill core has identified coarse-grained (up to 0.5 cm) pyrochlore mineralization present in each hole, primarily hosted within a magnetite-calcite Carbonatite rock unit.
The Company notes 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. The Company is also pleased to report 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 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, for a total of 933 samples including QAQC, and were shipped to Activation Laboratories in Ancaster, ON for analysis.
Lab analysis included niobium, tantalum, and major oxides by XRF (package 8-Coltan XRF + Major Oxides) and fluorine by Fusion Specific Ion Electrode-ISE (Code 4F-F). The fluorspar content (CaF2) is approximated by multiplying the fluorine assay by 2.055 and assumes the fluorspar is the sole source to the fluorine. However, a limited to negligible amount of fluorine may be attributed to fluorapatite, which maybe present with the fluorite in the sample. Therefore, the CaF2 grade noted is best represented as an approximation of the fluorspar content. 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). Additional sample analysis is anticipated.
Figure 1: 2021 drill assay highlights – Mallard Prospect
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 by 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 information which is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements in this press release include that Saville will execute a considerably more expansive drill program; that geological model at Mallard will guide targeting for the next phase of drilling, planned for 2022; that Saville has potential for high-grade and wider widths where conditions are favourable; and that 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 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 upcoming work programs; geological interpretations based on drilling that may change with more detailed information; potential process methods and mineral recoveries assumption 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 it 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, or that the required permits to build and operate the envisaged mine can be obtained. The forward-looking information contained herein is given 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.