by Greg Klein | June 16, 2015
Strong, shallow-depth rare earths mineralization continues as Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE reported four more infill holes from its Ashram deposit on June 16. The northern Quebec project’s winter/spring drill campaign collected infill results to upgrade the resource for a planned pre-feasibility study. Highlights include:
- 2.23% total rare earth oxides, 4.5% middle and heavy rare earth oxides and 5.8% fluorite over 32.02 metres, starting at 5.5 metres in downhole depth
- 1.91% TREO, 6.3% MH-T and 6.8% fluorite over 142 metres, starting at 58.09 metres
- (including 2.1% TREO, 5.7% MH-T and 7.3% fluorite over 51.74 metres)
- (and including 2.08% TREO, 5.6% MH-T and 7.7% fluorite over 34.41 metres)
- 1.91% TREO, 7.2% MH-T and 7.2% fluorite over 217.02 metres, starting at 5.79 metres
- (including 2.07% TREO, 6.8% MH-T and 7.1% fluorite over 163.31 metres)
- 1.72% TREO, 7.8% MH-T and 4.3% fluorite over 74.4 metres, starting at 135 metres
- (including 3.04% TREO, 8.8% MH-T and 1.8% fluorite over 6.75 metres)
EC15-119 was collared on Ashram’s northern margin. The other three were sunk along the deposit’s eastern margins. True widths were estimated between 50% and 70% along the eastern margins but increased to 100% towards the deposit’s centre, Commerce stated.
Each hole ended at a pre-determined depth of about 200 metres for pre-feas purposes. All four ended in strong mineralization. A fifth hole was sunk outside the resource for geotechnical, geomechanical and hydrogeological purposes.
The company emphasized strong middle-to-heavy results in EC15-121 and EC15-122. “The MHREO mineralization returned from EC15-121 is one of the most well-balanced rare earth intersections to date for the Ashram deposit, with 15.5% MH-T over 1.67 metres at 2.25% TREO, including 398 ppm Dy oxide. This intersection is significant as it highlights a rock type (or phase) that is more highly enriched in the middle and heavy REOs than is typical, yet is also of considerable TREO grade… Similar intersections have been returned over short intervals from past drilling at Ashram. However, the source remains to be discovered.”
Still pending are assays for 18 holes of the 31-hole, 4,146-metre program. Results for the first eight holes, all mineralized, were released late last month.
Ashram’s resource shows measured and indicated categories totalling 29.3 million tonnes averaging 1.9% TREO and another inferred 219.8 million tonnes averaging 1.88%. The REE distribution features enrichment in the light, middle and heavy rare earth elements. REEs occur primarily in monazite and to a lesser extent bastnaesite and xenotime, minerals that dominate the current extraction processes for rare earths.
Along with other pre-feas work, the company last month reported a new infrastructure model that could significantly reduce the project’s costs. In April Commerce announced successful Phase I metallurgical tests at its flotation mini-pilot plant, which produced several kilograms of mixed rare earths concentrate and demonstrated continuous flotation performance.
The company also filed an updated 43-101 technical report for its Blue River tantalum-niobium project in southeastern British Columbia, which achieved a preliminary economic assessment in 2011.
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