Commerce pulls long REE intercept from Ashram

Drillers at the Ashram zone at Commerce Resources' Eldor REE project in northernmost Quebec. Photo by Commerce ResourcesDrillers at the Ashram zone at Commerce Resources' Eldor REE project in northernmost Quebec. Photo by Commerce Resources

Commerce Resources (CCE-V) has pulled the longest intercept to date at its Eldor rare earth element (REE) project in Quebec’s Ungava region.

The Eldor property, 130 km south of the town of Kuujjuaq, spans 190 sq. km and covers a carbonatite complex in the central Labrador trough.

The noteworthy intercept, hole EC11-048, hit 587 metres carrying 2.10% total rare earth oxides (TREO) from 7 metres to the bottom of the hole. Sample intervals ran as high as 9.88% TREO and seven samples returned intervals higher than 4% TREO.

The three other holes released, of seven drilled during the 2011 winter, included: hole EC11-51 that hit 455 metres at 2% TREO from 25 metres downhole; EC11-50 that returned 69 metres averaging 2.04% TREO; and hole EC11-49 that cut 80 metres averaging 1.85% TREO.

Combined, the step-out holes look to have expanded mineralization at the Ashram REE zone by 150 metres to the northeast and pushed known mineralization deeper by 235 metres, to 600 metres depth. The zone is now established over more than 600 metres east-west and 500 metres north-south. Mineralization remains largely open.

In March, Commerce released an initial resource on the Ashram zone based on 5,400 metres of drilling over 12 holes drilled in 2010. The model covered an area of 650 metres east-west, 450 metres north-south and a maximum depth of 430 metres below surface, with the base case cut-off grade of 1.25% TREO based on a 7,500- tonne-per-day, 25-year open pit mine scenario.

The base case resource established an inferred resource of 117.3 million tonnes grading 1.74% TREO, with light rare earth oxides grading 1.61%, intermediate oxides, 0.07%; heavy oxides, 0.02%; yttrium oxide, 0.04%; and calcium fluoride, 5.56%.

In early June, Commerce completed a $7.5-million, non-brokered private placement of 10.4 million shares at 73¢ each. The company now has 134 million shares out, or 178 million fully diluted.

Along with its Eldor project in Quebec, Commerce controls the 1,000-sq.-km Blue River tantalum and niobium project in eastern B.C. The company is currently drilling the project, and expects to soon complete a long-awaited preliminary economic assessment.

The Upper Fir deposit at Blue River hosts 36.4 million indicated tonnes grading 195 grams tantalum per tonne and 1,700 grams niobium per tonne, with an inferred resource of 6.4 tonnes averaging 199 grams tantalum and 1,890 grams niobium.

Commerce’s share price was up 8¢, or 13.1%, to 69¢ on the latest results. The company has a 52-week share price range between 21¢
and $1.08.


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