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June 22, 2021 – Commerce Resources Corp. (TSXv: CCE, FSE: D7H0, OTCQX: CMRZF) (the “Company” or “Commerce”) is pleased to provide an update on the progress of its metallurgical program to produce samples of mixed rare earth carbonate (mixed REC) concentrate to satisfy several requests by global processors. Due to additional third-party sample requests, the Company has expanded the size of the program and will now produce approximately 2.5 kg of mixed REC, an increase over the initial 1.1 kg targeted.
The mixed REC concentrate is being produced from the Ashram Rare Earth and Fluorspar Deposit using the conventional recovery flowsheet developed at Hazen Research in CO, USA, which results in high grade monazite concentrate exceeding 40% rare earth oxide (REO). The flotation concentrate, generated from the 2015 pilot program, has now been processed through the HCl leach circuit, in several 50 kg batches, as well as through the subsequent magnetic circuit (Wet High Intensity). Assays are pending on the monazite concentrate (magnetic fraction); however, preliminary data indicates a grade of 40+% REO has been achieved as targeted.
The monazite concentrate will now be processed through a sulphuric acid pot digestion to convert the monazite to rare earth sulphates which are then dissolved in a water leach. The leach liquor is treated by solvent extraction (SX) to reject thorium followed by SX to purify and concentrate the rare earth elements (REEs). Mixed RECs high in NdPr are precipitated from the SX strip liquor.
In the rare earth industry, a mixed REC concentrate is typically viewed as the initial marketable product in the rare earth element value chain. A mixed REC is readily saleable as it is the most common feedstock to REE solvent extraction facilities globally, which separate each individual REE and allow for them to be individually refined into marketable products and disseminated throughout downstream value-chains. In addition to producing a mixed REC, the Company also intends to evaluate partial separations as part of the Prefeasibility Study (PFS). A partial separation will allow for a marketable NdPr oxide product to be produced, in addition to a Ce-La product and a mixed Sm-Eu-Gd + heavy REE product, thereby unlocking additional value while not adding significant technical risk and CAPEX to the flowsheet by pursuing full separation of all 15 REOs.
In addition, as part of this ongoing metallurgical program, the Company is collecting flowsheet design criteria in support of the PFS being advanced. This includes sampling of various tailings steams for environmental testing, which will determine if further treatment is required to meet regulatory requirements, while also outlining the design criteria of the tailings management facility.
NI 43-101 Disclosure
Darren L. Smith, M.Sc., P.Geo., Dahrouge Geological Consulting Ltd., a Permit holder with the Ordre des Géologues du Québec and Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, supervised the preparation of the technical information in this news release.
About Commerce Resources Corp.
Commerce Resources Corp. is a junior mineral resource company focused on the development of the Ashram Rare Earth and Fluorspar Deposit located in Quebec, Canada. The Company is positioning to be one of the lowest cost rare earth producers globally, with a specific focus on being a long-term supplier of mixed rare earth carbonate and/or NdPr oxide to the global market. The Ashram Deposit is characterized by simple rare earth (monazite, bastnaesite, xenotime) and gangue (carbonates) mineralogy, a large tonnage resource at favourable grade, and has demonstrated the production of high-grade (>45% REO) mineral concentrates at high recovery (>70%) in line with active global producers. In addition to being one of the largest rare earth deposits globally, Ashram is also one of the largest fluorspar deposits globally and has the potential to be a long-term supplier to the met-spar and acid-spar markets.
For more information, please visit the corporate website at www.commerceresources.com or email [email protected]
On Behalf of the Board of Directors
COMMERCE RESOURCES CORP.
President and Director
Email: [email protected]
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