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Posts tagged ‘rare earth oxides’

Commerce Resources sees cost cuts for high-grade rare earth concentrates

February 9th, 2016

by Greg Klein | February 9, 2016

A simplified flowsheet has reduced the number of steps to process rare earths from Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) Ashram deposit in Quebec. Announced February 9, the results point to lowered costs while maintaining efficiency. Metallurgical tests continue to advance the project towards pre-feasibility.

Commerce Resources sees cost cuts for high-grade rare earth concentrates

Project manager Darren Smith onsite in northern Quebec.

Last year’s pilot plant tests used a double-leach process that achieved over 99% stage recovery with complete carbonate removal. But the results also suggested the process could be simplified by using only a single leach. That’s now been confirmed, as the single-leach mini-pilot plant achieved similar efficiency with fewer stages while operating at a larger scale.

“For the single-leach pilot, both batch and continuous methods were tested, using flotation concentrate produced from piloting as feed, with a total throughput of approximately 50 kilograms and 11 kilograms respectively,” the company stated. “Stage recovery exceeded 98% for both methods and is expected to exceed 99% after a minor operational adjustment is incorporated.”

Leach residues went through magnetic separation to confirm the residue quality, producing high-grade mineral concentrates. The batch method produced 41% total rare earth oxides at 71% recovery, while the continuous method reached 43% TREO at 71% recovery. Tests also indicated overall recoveries might surpass those of the double-leach process. Follow-up tests will further evaluate that finding.

The validation of the single-leach process at the pilot scale is an advancement that allows for basic cost reductions as fewer process steps are now required, and fewer reagents are now consumed, while process efficiency is maintained.—Chris Grove, president of Commerce Resources

“The validation of the single-leach process at the pilot scale is an advancement that allows for basic cost reductions as fewer process steps are now required, and fewer reagents are now consumed, while process efficiency is maintained,” commented president Chris Grove.

Ashram’s flowsheet includes three stages of processing “to produce among the highest-grade mineral concentrates in the rare earth development space,” Commerce stated. The company intends to follow last year’s work on the flotation and HCl leach stages with a magnetic separation pilot plant and further downstream processing this year.

Pre-feas work has also included infill drilling for a resource update, with high-grade, near-surface assays. A new infrastructure model, meanwhile, points to further potential cost reductions. In October Commerce won an award for responsible exploration from l’Association de l’exploration minière du Québec. Last month the company closed the second tranche of a private placement that totalled $1.97 million.

Commerce also holds the Blue River tantalum-niobium deposit in southeastern British Columbia, with a 2011 preliminary economic assessment.

Commerce Resources completes winter/spring drilling at Ashram rare earths deposit

May 20th, 2015

by Greg Klein | May 20, 2015

This year’s Phase I field work has wrapped up at northern Quebec’s Ashram rare earths deposit, Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE announced May 20. The campaign included a 31-hole 4,146-metre drill program as well as downhole surveying, geomechanical sampling and hydrogeological testing. While moving the project towards pre-feasibility, drilling was intended to upgrade the resource and conduct geotechnical, geomechanical and hydrogeological studies.

Commerce Resources completes winter-spring drilling at Ashram rare earths deposit

Green dots show holes completed in this year’s Phase I program, while red indicates locations planned for Phase II and grey shows pre-2015 holes.

Most drilling consisted of infill holes over Centre Pond, along the deposit’s eastern periphery, as well as on the MHREO zone, Commerce stated. Ten holes over Centre Pond tested depths ranging from 82 metres to 223 metres “to coincide with end-of-hole depths targeted below the level of the deepest Whittle pit shell” identified in Ashram’s preliminary economic assessment, which was released in 2012 and revised last January.

With assays pending from this program, the company has Phase II scheduled to begin in late June or early July.

Last month Commerce announced successful completion of Phase I metallurgical work at Ashram’s mini-pilot plant, which produced several kilograms of mixed rare earths concentrate and demonstrated flotation performance on a continuous basis.

In March Commerce filed an updated 43-101 technical report for its Blue River tantalum-niobium project in southeastern British Columbia, which reached PEA in 2011.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

Read about rare earths in Canada.

Disclaimer: Commerce Resources Corp is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of ResourceClips.com. The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Commerce Resources.

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Update: Commerce Resources offers $4.5-million private placement, proceeds with hydrometallurgical rare earths processing

September 29th, 2014

by Greg Klein | September 29, 2014

A company with advanced Canadian projects featuring industrial metals announced a $4.5-million private placement on September 29. Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE stated proceeds will go to its Ashram rare earth deposit in Quebec and its Blue River tantalum-niobium project in British Columbia, as well as working capital.

The previous week Commerce reported that a program of hydrometallurgical testing had begun at Ashram, bringing the project closer to pre-feasibility. The company intends to complete bench testing and produce a mixed rare earth carbonate with cerium and lanthanum removed. The product could then be evaluated by potential joint venture or off-take partners.

Commerce Resources offers $4.5-million private placement, proceeds with hydrometallurgical rare earths processing

Commerce Resources’ Blue River tantalum-niobium property in B.C. is one
of two advanced projects to benefit from a $4.5-million private placement.

Ashram has already produced a total rare earth oxide concentrate grading over 40%, surpassing the 30% baseline met by all major rare earth mines outside southern China. Commerce plans to focus on increased TREO recovery as well as hydrochloric acid regeneration to further cut acid consumption, the company stated.

The plan calls for a mini pilot plant “to confirm the process on a larger scale and to generate feed for full demonstration of the hydrometallurgical flowsheet through to production” of cerium- and lanthanum-depleted, mixed rare earth carbonates.

Part of the 19,000-hectare Eldor property in the Labrador Trough, Ashram is distinguished by quantities of the critical rare earth oxides neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium that are “unusual in carbonatite deposits and especially those of such tonnage and grade,” according to a 2012 preliminary economic assessment.

The company’s Blue River tantalum-niobium project in southeastern B.C. reached PEA in 2011 and a resource update the following year.

Read more about Commerce Resources here and here.

Read more about rare earths in Canada.

Disclaimer: Commerce Resources Corp is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of ResourceClips.com. The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Commerce Resources.

Canadian rare earths: Commerce Resources proceeds with hydrometallurgical processing for Ashram

September 23rd, 2014

This story has been updated and moved here.

Ashram metallurgy progresses as Commerce Resources confirms high-grade TREO

August 19th, 2014

by Greg Klein | August 19, 2014

If metallurgy is crucial to rare earths, Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE has positive news as it moves its Ashram deposit towards pre-feasibility. Lab results announced August 19 for the northern Quebec project once again show it can produce a total concentrate of rare earth oxides grading over 40% using standard industry techniques. In doing so the project so far exceeds a baseline level of at least 30% TREO concentrate met by all major rare earth element mines outside southern China.

Ashram metallurgy progresses as Commerce Resources confirms high-grade TREO

As pre-feas approaches, Commerce Resources has
infill drilling and metallurgical tests underway
for its Ashram project in northern Quebec.

A test produced concentrate of 41% TREO at 70% recovery, effectively repeating a similar accomplishment in December 2013 that produced a 44% TREO concentrate at 71% recovery.

The results show “one of the highest-grade mineral concentrates in the REE sector and we believe that our current results are the most logical indicators of Ashram’s potential for positive downstream economics,” stated Commerce president Dave Hodge. “We look forward to the results from the next phase of metallurgical testing and to a better definition of our costs to produce final end products.”

Among the advantages, the high grade simplifies downstream processing. The tests suggest only about 3% of the rock extracted from Ashram would require hydro-metallurgical work, cutting the project’s capital and operating costs.

Commerce sees significant potential for further recovery through optimization of factors like temperature, pH and reagent dosage.

The company now plans studies to produce a concentrate of mixed rare earth carbonates free of thorium. The plan would separate cerenium and lanthium as potential products in themselves and increase the value of a rare earth oxide/rare earth carbonate concentrate that Commerce describes as the basic feedstock for REE separation facilities in and out of China.

Achieving that goal could attract joint venture interest from companies that “have excess separation capacity and need a concentrate source.”

Among other objectives, Commerce “expects to evaluate the production of a range of separated oxide products, with a focus on the five critical REOs (CREOs) that the Ashram deposit is enriched in.”

The project’s 2012 preliminary economic assessment showed quantities of the CREOs neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium “unusual in carbonatite deposits and especially those of such tonnage and grade.”

That resource used a cutoff of 1.25% total rare earth oxides to estimate a measured and indicated 29.3 million tonnes averaging 1.9% TREO. The inferred category showed 219.8 million tonnes averaging 1.88% TREO. This year’s summer/fall agenda has 1,000 to 1,500 metres of delineation drilling planned to follow up on last winter’s positive results.

The Ashram deposit forms part of the 19,000-hectare Eldor property in the Labrador Trough, about 80 kilometres north of Lac Otelnuk, the “largest iron ore deposit in Canada with the potential of becoming one of the largest in the world,” according to Adriana Resources TSXV:ADI. Lac Otelnuk has feasibility scheduled for completion by year-end. Commerce has also released a PEA for its Upper Fir tantalum-niobium deposit in southeastern British Columbia.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

Read more about rare earths in Canada.

Disclaimer: Commerce Resources Corp is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of ResourceClips.com. The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Commerce Resources.