by Greg Klein | July 9, 2015
Phase II 2015 drilling has begun at northern Quebec’s Ashram rare earths deposit, Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE announced July 9. The summer agenda calls for about 32 holes totalling 3,000 metres as the project moves towards pre-feasibility.
Infill drilling will take up about 17 holes and 2,200 metres at shallow depths of 50 to 200 metres, intended to increase the indicated and/or measured categories of Ashram’s resource. One hole will test a gravity anomaly south of the deposit that might be related to Ashram’s middle and heavy rare earth oxide mineralization.
About 14 other holes will supply geotechnical data to help plan infrastructure development. One hole will provide hydrogeological data. The campaign’s expected to wrap up in September.
Some winter results released last month showed grades as high as 4.56% total rare earth oxides and 345 ppm dysprosium oxide over 1.45 metres within a 6.75-metre interval of 3.04% TREO. One especially wide high-grade interval hit 1.91% TREO, 6.3% middle and heavy rare earth oxides and 6.8% fluorite over 142 metres. For pre-feas purposes, all holes stopped at a pre-determined depth of 200 metres.
Commerce released a first batch of mineralized holes the previous month. Assays for 18 more holes are pending.
Pre-feas studies progress on other fronts as well. In May Commerce reported a new infrastructure model that could cut costs substantially. In April the company announced metallurgical success with Phase I tests at its flotation mini-pilot plant, producing several kilograms of mixed rare earths concentrate while demonstrating continuous flotation performance.
In March Commerce filed an updated 43-101 technical report for its Blue River tantalum-niobium project in southeastern British Columbia, which has a 2011 preliminary economic assessment.
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