Wednesday 30th September 2020

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Update: Commerce Resources gets cash grants to further Canadian rare earths-fluorspar research

by Greg Klein | August 24, 2020

An advanced-stage northern Quebec project continues to attract outside interest as a number of sources contribute metallurgical R&D funds. On August 25 Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE announced grants totalling $160,000 to help develop the company’s Ashram rare earths-fluorspar deposit. The funding follows a number of academic and government-backed research initiatives into the project. This money will back collaborative research by Commerce, l’Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) and the Industrial Waste Technology Centre (CTRI).

“A principal focus of the joint research program involving experts from CTRI, UQAT, and Commerce Resources will be the optimization of the mineral liberation and flotation schemes, used to produce a high-grade rare earth mineral concentrate over 30% REO for hydrometallurgical processing,” said Jean-François Boulanger, professor of hydrometallurgy for the Rare Earth Elements Institute for Research in Mines and Environment. “After the initial lab-scale testing phase, pilot-scale operation will be conducted, increasing confidence when scaling-up the developed process.”

Commerce president Chris Grove added that the work will enhance Ashram’s project efficiency “as well as make a strong contribution to academia and the research and development of strategic minerals in Quebec.”

The news comes four days after the announcement that two research papers featuring Ashram will be presented to the 2020 Conference of Metallurgists on October 14 and 15.


Commerce Resources’ rare earths-fluorspar project featured on two presentations at Conference of Metallurgists

by Greg Klein | August 20, 2020

The lingo might prove daunting to the uninitiated, yet technical studies like these help advance not only a specific project but the Canadian industry in general. Two papers referring to Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) Ashram rare earths-fluorspar deposit in northern Quebec will be presented at the upcoming 2020 Conference of Metallurgists (COM2020).

Organized by the Metallurgy and Materials Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, COM2020 was originally planned for Toronto this month. The rescheduled event takes place online October 14 and 15.

The first paper results from Ashram project manager Darren Smith’s collaboration with Tesfaye Negeri and Maziar Sauber of Natural Resources Canada’s CanmetMINING division. Entitled Mineral Processing Flowsheet Options for the Ashram Rare Earth and Fluorspar Deposit, the paper details test work that improved flotation through “a combination of distributed reagent additions, reagent synergism and reverse conditioning in a very simple and basic flotation circuit,” Commerce stated.

Commerce Resources’ rare earths-fluorspar project subject of two presentations at 2020 Conference of Metallurgists

In December Université du Québec PhD candidate
Sophie Costis won a scholarship for her work on Ashram
tailings management with le Centre Eau Terre Environnement.
(Photo: Université du Québec)

The findings are “directly applicable to the project’s working flowsheet,” the company added.

The second paper comes from Kang Sun, Christel Bemelmans and Nick Hazen of Hazen Research, operators of Ashram’s primary metallurgical lab in Colorado. Entitled Recovering Rare Earths and Other Metallic Values from Fluorine-Containing Concentrates using Carbochlorination and Aqueous Leaching, it discusses Ashram concentrate as one of two feedstocks tested with a thermal process to produce rare earth chloride that’s soluble in dilute hydrochloride.

Commerce expressed its pleasure to provide “continued support to the academic and institutional rare earth element research and development industry through the supply of Ashram deposit material and geological support. The deposit outcrops at surface and has allowed for cost-effective collection of large amounts of material for test work. As such, the company is actively engaged with various research and academic institutions to support the advancement of the REE industry in Canada, and in Quebec specifically.”

Other Ashram research has included a tailings management study by le Centre Eau Terre Environnement of l’Institut national de la recherche scientifique of l’Université du Québec that was published last May in the international peer-reviewed journal Science of the Total Environment.

The studies have taken place while Commerce advances Ashram to the pre-feasibility level. Rare earths and fluorspar rank among 35 minerals declared critical by the U.S.

In June the company closed an over-subscribed private placement of $1.2 million. Previous placements closed on $300,000 in May and $2.51 million in November.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

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