by Greg Klein | February 2, 2015
With the rig and crew now en route, Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE has a 4,000-metre program of infill drilling about to begin at its Ashram rare earths deposit in northern Quebec. The goal is to upgrade the existing resource in anticipation of a prefeasibility study, the company announced February 2. Commerce released Ashram’s preliminary economic assessment in 2012.
Drilling will last until April or May, to be followed by a summer campaign after spring break-up. Commerce also plans to finish field work on the project’s geomechanical and hydrogeological programs.
Metallurgical studies at Ashram have produced high-grade concentrates of over 40% total rare earth oxides with better than 70% recovery. The company has a mini-pilot plant scheduled for start-up early this year.
In December Commerce closed a $3.5-million private placement, which followed an oversubscribed $5-million private placement two months earlier. In November the company retained Deloitte Global Metals & Mining Advisory Group to evaluate potential partnerships, joint ventures and offtake agreements.
Commerce also holds the Blue River tantalum-niobium project in southeastern British Columbia, which reached a preliminary economic assessment in 2011 and a resource update the following year.
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