by Greg Klein | December 10, 2014
With a mini-pilot plant on schedule to start up late next month, Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE reported further metallurgical progress for its Ashram rare earth deposit on December 10. The work brings pre-feasibility closer to the northern Quebec project, which hosts the critical REEs neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium.
The program’s current goal is to produce several kilograms of marketable mixed rare earth carbonate concentrate (REC) and a sample of high-purity mixed RE chloride concentrate for evaluation by third-party processors and potential strategic investors. “Mixed RE chloride concentrate is a common feedstock to world separation facilities and the Ashram flowsheet can be easily modified to produce this as well as a mixed REC concentrate, further demonstrating the versatility of its metallurgical flowsheet,” Commerce stated.
Improvements so far include higher flotation concentrate grades and recoveries, building on previous work that produced high-grade concentrates of over 40% total rare earth oxides with better than 70% recovery.
“These are significant results showing continued advancements on the fundamentals for our Ashram REE deposit,” said Commerce president Chris Grove. “We are fortunate to be able to underwrite programs both in the lab and in the field to advance our world class asset and further appreciate the interest we are receiving from industry.”
Funding for the program comes from an over-subscribed $5-million private placement that closed in October. Last month the company retained Deloitte Global Metals & Mining Advisory Group to evaluate potential partnerships, joint ventures and offtake opportunities.
Commerce also holds the Blue River tantalum-niobium project in British Columbia, which has a 2011 preliminary economic assessment and a 2012 resource update.
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