Assays for the final five holes from Commerce Resources‘ (CCE-V, CMRZF-O) 2010 drill program at its Ashram rare-earth zone on its Eldor project in northern Quebec bring the junior one step closer to completing a National Instrument 43-101 compliant resource on schedule in the first quarter of this year.
Highlights include drill hole 45, which returned 309.18 metres of 1.99% total rare earth oxides (TREO), including 172.89 metres of 2.30% TREO. Drill hole 44 cut 239.66 metres of 1.78% TREO, including 71.11 metres of 2.19% TREO, with heavy and middle rare earth oxide (MREO) contents of individual samples up to 45.3%.
MREO is defined as samarium through gadolinium and HREO as terbium through lutetium plus yttrium.
The company noted that the middle to heavy rare earth oxide (MREO, HREO) enriched zone earlier identified in hole 47 in November last year is evident 110 metres to the east in hole 44, with 15.7% MREO plus HREO over 55.56 metres. This interval includes 19.8% over 17.13 metres with a peak value of more than 45% MREO plus HREO.
TREO grades within the enriched zone range from 0.75 to 2.20%. The enriched zone is also evident in hole 45 with 13.2% MREO plus HREO over 19 metres.
The deposit contains pods or zones of MREO and HREO enrichment. “This is very unusual for carbonatite-hosted REE bodies as they are typically light rare earth enriched, with only minor credits of the valuable heavy rare earths,” the company said in a statement. “The discovery of an enriched, near surface, middle and heavy REE zone at Eldor is significant and its delineation a priority for future drilling.”
The Eldor property covers a carbonatite complex within the central Labrador Trough about 130 km south of the town of Kuujjuaq. Commerce owns 100% of the property, which includes 404 claims over about 19,006 hectares. Last year Commerce punched 12 holes into the Ashram zone (3,312.67 metres). Rare earth mineralization is evident within an area measuring more than 650 metres east-west by 350 metres north-south and to depths of 365 metres.
The mineralization remains open to the north, south, east, at depth, and is not fully constrained to the west.
Commerce will drill 3,000 metres over the winter starting in February and lasting as long as the weather permits. Vertical holes from the pond in the centre of the zone will test the depth extension of the mineralization and define its eastern and northern boundaries. So far the company believes the high grades and the enriched MREO plus HREO zone seem to lie within the deposit’s northeastern margins.
With $11 million in cash and investments, Commerce says it has enough working capital to complete all of its development and exploration plans.
At presstime in Toronto Commerce was trading at 88¢ per share and over the last year has traded between a low of 20.5¢ on June 8 2010 and a high of 96¢ on Jan. 27. The company has 130.6 million shares fully diluted.