Commerce Resources Corp. Intersects 18.5% MH-T over 32 m at 1.65% TREO (304 ppm Dysprosium Oxide) at the Ashram Rare Earth Deposit, Northern Quebec

VANCOUVER, July 24, 2015 /CNW/ - Commerce Resources Corp. (TSXv: CCE, FSE: D7H, OTCQX: CMRZF) (the "Company") is pleased to provide an update on the drill results from the recently completed winter/spring drill program at the Ashram Rare Earth Deposit located in northern Quebec. In one of these drill holes the Company has intersected the strongest heavy rare earth element mineralization to date from the project.

Highlights are as follows:

  • 31.96 m of 1.65% TREO(1) (304 ppm Dy oxide) at 18.5% MH-T(2) in EC15-133, including 18.08 m of 1.49% TREO (359 ppm Dy oxide) at 23.5% MH-T
  • 77.90 m of 1.68% TREO at 11.8% MH-T (174 ppm Dy oxide) in EC15-134
  • 51.34 m of 2.46% TREO in EC15-134

The primary goal of the drill program was to increase the resource confidence from the current inferred category to the measured and/or indicated categories with infill drilling, as required for the ongoing Pre-feasibility Study (PFS). A total of 31 drill holes for 4,146 m were completed in the program, with 14 holes for 1,376 m remaining to be reported.

The two drill holes (EC15-133 and 134) targeted the Middle and Heavy Rare Earth Oxide (MHREO) Zone and encountered considerable MHREO mineralization, with drill hole 133 intersecting the strongest mineralization to date, and over the largest interval to date. This mineralization starts at, or near surface (<20 m), and includes 23.5% MH-T  over 18 m at 1.49% TREO (80 ppm Tb oxide, 359 ppm Dy oxide) within a larger interval of 18.5% MH-T over 32 m at 1.65% TREO (68 ppm Tb oxide, 304 ppm Dy oxide) in EC15-133. This MHREO mineralized zone was again intersected ~60 m east in EC15-134 with 11.8% MH-T over 78 m at 1.68% TREO.

The MH-T, Tb oxide, and Dy oxide values reported herein are significantly higher than that noted in the 2012 Ashram MHREO Zone Resource (Indicated: 11.3%, 36 ppm, and 153 ppm respectively). For additional perspective, the approximate average MH-T% for Mountain Pass, Bayan Obo, Weishan, and Maoniuping (collectively from which the vast majority of the world's REO is produced) is 1.4%, 1.9%, 1.4%, and 2.9% respectively.

The appreciable MHREO enrichment present at the Ashram Deposit is extremely rare and is significantly higher than current producers (as per above), and also compares very favourably with many well-known MHREO enriched granitic deposits under development worldwide.

The strong MHREO mineralization is accompanied by significant enrichment of the magnet feed oxides (Nd-Pr), with several samples over 30% combined Nd-Pr (as a % of TREO). Collectively, the MHREO intersections of EC15-133 and 134 best illustrate the well-balanced REE distribution of the Ashram Deposit, which is unique in the space and is particularly well-suited to magnet end-use (Nd, Pr, Tb, Dy).

In addition, high-grade TREO mineralization continues to be encountered at relatively shallow depths, directly adjacent to the MHREO Zone, and is highlighted by EC15-134 with 51 m of 2.46% TREO.

Analytical results for the drill holes noted herein from the winter/spring 2015 drill program are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1.

Hole ID

Core
Size

From
(m)

To
(m)

Interval
(m)

TREO(1)
(%)

MH-T(2)
(%)

Fluorite(3)
(%)

End of Hole (EOH)
(m)

EC15-123A

NQ

144.80

166.73

21.93

1.11

8.9

3.2

166.73

EC15-133

NQ

3.65

239.00

235.35

1.92

9.1

9.8

239.00

incl.


3.65

18.70

15.05

2.15

6.0

12.9


or


144.13

239.00

94.87

2.12

5.7

9.5











MHREO


18.70

144.13

125.43

1.74

12.6

9.6


incl.


18.70

65.71

47.01

1.56

16.9

7.7


or


35.70

53.78

18.08

1.49

23.5

6.5


or


23.16

55.12

31.96

1.65

18.5

7.9


EC15-134

NQ

4.45

200.00

195.55

1.93

8.8

8.2

200.00

incl.


148.66

200.00

51.34

2.46

6.4

6.6











MHREO


4.45

82.35

77.90

1.68

11.8

10.8


incl.


4.45

26.59

22.14

1.36

15.0

12.7


EC15-123

HQ

Drilled for geotechnical purposes but was abandoned due to hole caving

8.53

 

(1)

TREO is the summation of Ce2O3 + La2O3 + Pr2O3 + Nd2O3 + Sm2O3 + Eu2O3 + Gd2O3 + Tb2O3 + Dy2O3 + Ho2O3 + Er2O3 + Tm2O3 + Yb2O3 + Lu2O3 + Y2O3

(2)

MH-T is the sum of the middle and heavy rare earth oxides (Sm2O3 + Eu2O3 + Gd2O3 + Tb2O3 + Dy2O3 + Ho2O3 + Er2O3 + Tm2O3 + Yb2O3 + Lu2O3 + Y2O3) divided by TREO, expressed as a per cent.

(3)

Fluorite (CAF2) is calculated based on fluorine analysis, using a conversion factor of 2.055, as mineralogical work concludes fluorite is the dominant and only material source of fluorine.

(4)

True thicknesses of drill intersections are estimated to be 50-70% along the deposit's margins; however, the cone like nature of the deposit effectively increases the true thickness to 100% as intersections move inwards, towards the deposit's centre.

 

A map showing the drill hole locations is available on the Company's website at http://www.commerceresources.com.

Both EC15-133 and 134 were terminated at a pre-determined depth (~200 m) for the purposes of the Pre-feasibility Study (PFS), ending in strong mineralization at 2.08% TREO and 2.38% TREO respectively.

Both EC15-123 and 123A were geotechnical holes targeting the anticipated dyke/dam location. Drill hole EC15-123 was abandoned at 9 m depth due to caving. Drill hole EC15-123A (twin of 123) ended at 167 m due to ice conditions. Of note, however, is the REE mineralization intersected in EC15-123A with 1.11% TREO over 22 m at the bottom of the hole, including a final sample of 1.52% TREO. The intersection, located ~200 m to southeast of the deposit, highlights the extent of the REE mineralized system present at Ashram.

All samples collected will be analyzed by Activation Laboratories in Ancaster, ON for major oxides by Fusion ICP, rare earths by ICP-MS, and for fluorine by Fusion ISE. Results will be released as they are received.

NI 43-101 Disclosure
Darren L. Smith, M.Sc., P.Geol., Dahrouge Geological Consulting Ltd., a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, supervised the preparation of the technical information in this news release.  

About the Ashram Rare Earth Element Deposit
The Ashram Rare Earth Element (REE) Deposit is located in north-eastern Quebec. The Deposit has a measured and indicated resource of 29.3 million tonnes at 1.90% TREO and an inferred resource of 219.8 million tonnes at 1.88% TREO. The deposit has an REE distribution with enrichment in the light, middle, and heavy rare earth elements.

A Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) was completed in May of 2012 by SGS-Geostat of Montreal (Blainville) (see news release May 24, 2012). The PEA is based on a 4,000 tonne per day open-pit operation with an initial 25-year mine life (300 years at economic cut-off if open-pit + underground development), a pre-tax and pre-finance Net Present Value (NPV) of $2.32 billion at a 10% discount rate, a pre-tax/pre-finance Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 44%, and a pre-tax/pre-finance payback period of 2.25 years.

The PEA (effective date of July 5, 2015; revised January 7, 2015) is preliminary in nature, and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the PEA will be realized. With respect to the ongoing Pre-feasibility Study (PFS), the results of the programs described in this news release will be incorporated, along with other necessary technical data including geological and engineering studies, into the PFS with costs and benefits to be described in more detail therein.

The REEs at Ashram occur primarily in the mineral monazite and to a lesser extent in bastnaesite and xenotime. These minerals dominate the currently known commercial extraction processes for rare earths.

About Commerce Resources Corp.
Commerce Resources Corp. is an exploration and development company with a particular focus on deposits of rare metals and rare earth elements.  The Company is focused on the development of its Ashram Rare Earth Element Deposit in Quebec and the Upper Fir Tantalum and Niobium Deposit in British Columbia.

On Behalf of the Board of Directors
COMMERCE RESOURCES CORP.

"Chris Grove"
Chris Grove
President
Tel:  604.484.2700

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking information which is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements.  Forward looking statements in this press release include but are not limited to any references to the PEA as they are preliminary in nature; any increase in the resource confidence to the inferred category to measured and/or indicated and comparisons to well-known deposits worldwide. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information.  Risks that could change or prevent these statements from coming to fruition include changing costs for mining and processing; increased capital costs; the timing and content of upcoming work programs; geological interpretations based on current data that may change with more detailed information; potential process methods and mineral recoveries assumption based on limited test work and by comparison to what are considered analogous deposits that with further test work may not be comparable; the availability of labour, equipment and markets for the products produced; and despite the current expected viability of the project, conditions changing such that the minerals on our property cannot be economically mined, or that the required permits to build and operate the envisaged mine can be obtained. The forward-looking information contained herein is given as of the date hereof and the Company assumes no responsibility to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.

SOURCE Commerce Resources Corp.

For further information: please visit the corporate website at http://www.commerceresources.com or contact Investor Relations at 604.484.2700 or info@commerceresources.com

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