VANCOUVER, Feb. 11, 2015 /CNW/ - Commerce Resources Corp. (TSXv: CCE, FSE: D7H) (the "Company" or "Commerce") is pleased to report that the flotation mini-pilot plant(1) is underway using bulk sample material from the Company's 100% owned Ashram Rare Earth Deposit. The flotation pilot is part of a larger program to confirm the scalability of the entire flowsheet and produce several kilograms of both mixed rare earth carbonate concentrate (REC), and mixed RE chloride concentrate (RECl).
The flotation pilot plant will use column cells, and is being conducted at Hazen Research Inc., Colorado in collaboration with the Eriez Flotation Division in Pennsylvania, part of Eriez Manufacturing Co. (Eriez). The bench work used to design the pilot plant included column testing at Eriez which showed improved flotation performance over the baseline with increased recovery with decreased reagent dosage.
Commerce Resources President Chris Grove states "The pilot plant is an exciting milestone for our Ashram project. The scalability of a project's flow sheet is essential and we look forward to the results as they are produced".
Column flotation cells are commonly used at the commercial scale. When compared to the standard mechanical cell, they offer increased versatility to control performance through a number of parameters (e.g. retention time, bubble size, air flow, wash water) because they can easily be modified during operation. This is particularly advantageous during continuous operation such as piloting and commercial production. In addition, column cells are widely viewed to be less energy intensive and frequently cost less to operate by comparison.
The HCl pre-leach pilot plant will follow the flotation pilot by approximately two weeks, and is on schedule for mid-February. Recent pre-leach testwork has moved from synthetic solutions to flotation concentrate in order to provide feed for WHIMS development ahead of the WHIMS pilot plant scheduled for mid-March.
The WHIMS development work will include stages of scavenging (improved recovery) and cleaning (improved grade), in addition to other work. Further, the fluorite concentrate produced (WHIMS tails) will be evaluated for its by-product potential.
Additional work has focused on downstream processing on synthetic solutions to demonstrate complete radionuclide removal, as well as REE solvent extraction (SX). The preliminary testing is encouraging, and once verified, the results will be applied to Ashram material as it becomes available from the preceding pilot plants.
The overall metallurgical program continues to progress on budget and on schedule, with several kilograms of marketable mixed rare earth concentrate (REC and RECl) anticipated to be produced in Q3 2015.
Approximately 3.5 to 4.5 tonnes will be processed during the flotation pilot plant. This size throughput tonnage is sometimes referred to as a 'mini pilot plant' as opposed to a 'pilot plant'.
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.
Eric Larochelle, Eng., and Alain Dorval, Eng., Manager-Process, Mining and Mineral Processing, of Roche Ltd., Consulting Group, Qualified Persons as defined by National Instrument 43-101, reviewed the technical information presented in this news release.
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.
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.
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 our intended pilot plant; that we can get improved flotation performance over the baseline through increased recovery; that our process can be less energy intensive and cost less to operate; and that several kilograms of marketable mixed rare earth concentrate (REC and RECl) are anticipated to be produced in Q3 2015. 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 [email protected]