by Greg Klein | October 20, 2014
Bolstered by an oversubscribed $5-million private placement, Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE now has a $6.5-million treasury to move its Ashram rare earths deposit closer to pre-feasibility. An October 17 report by Secutor Capital Management looks at Ashram, as well as Commerce’s Upper Fir tantalum-niobium project.
Ashram’s agenda includes further metallurgical studies, field work and drilling. Potentially “one of the world’s largest REE-producing mines,” according to Secutor, the northern Quebec deposit hosts five critical REEs and benefits from relatively straightforward metallurgy. Commerce plans to build a mini-pilot plant to produce a mixed rare earth carbonate concentrate. “Successful trial production of a mixed REC or oxide end product would also help the company secure off-take agreements or end-user partnerships,” Secutor stated. Drilling is scheduled for early 2015.
Secutor, which acted as exclusive finder in the private placement, also looked at the Upper Fir tantalum-niobium deposit, part of the Blue River property in southeastern British Columbia and another Commerce project with a positive preliminary economic assessment.
“Contingent on the fundamentals of the tantalum market, Commerce will potentially begin metallurgical test work for Upper Fir, as well as move forward with the construction of a pilot plant to produce representative oxide product samples.” Noting that four mine closures since 2012 have cut tantalum supply by about 2.6 million pounds, Secutor stated Commerce “believes that the tantalum market may move into a deficit as demand for the mineral continues to increase.”
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