by Greg Klein | March 11, 2015
A March 11 update from Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE reports from the Ashram rare earths deposit in northern Quebec, where seven holes of a spring/summer program have now been completed. The company hopes to upgrade the existing resource and finish geomechanical and hydrogeological work for Ashram’s upcoming pre-feasibility study.
The seven holes range from 80 metres to 160 metres in depth “to coincide with end-of-hole depths targeted below the level of the deepest Whittle pit shell identified in the preliminary economic assessment,” Commerce stated. Assays are pending.
In all, the current program calls for 35 to 40 holes ranging from 20 metres to 250 metres in two diameters. The 20-metre holes are intended to confirm soil parameters and depth to bedrock beneath projected dyke locations while the deeper holes will allow for infill results as well as geomechanical and hydrogeological work.
Soon to begin is downhole surveying, which will use optical and acoustic instruments to further determine the deposit’s structure and orientation, limiting “the need for oriented core methods which are more time-consuming and costly,” the company stated. Select holes will also undergo downhole packer testing to study subsurface hydrostratigraphy and groundwater movement.
Commerce expects the year’s first phase to wrap up in May, with the second following in early summer.
Meanwhile metallurgical work continues at the project’s mini-pilot plant, with a goal of confirming previous bench scale testing and producing a concentrate for third-party processors and potential end users. Past work has already resulted in a high-grade concentrate of 43.6% total rare earth oxides.
In southeastern British Columbia, the company’s Upper Fir tantalum-niobium deposit reached PEA in 2011 and a resource update in 2013.
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