Commerce Resources Drills 392.8 m at 2.12% REO (21.6% NdPr) at the Ashram Deposit, Quebec, and Issues Options
February 21, 2023 – Commerce Resources Corp. (TSXv: CCE, FSE: D7H0, OTCQX: CMRZF) (the “Company” or “Commerce”) is pleased to announce assay results for the twelve (12) holes completed at the Ashram Rare Earth and Fluorspar Deposit (“Ashram Deposit”) as part of its 2022 drill program. The Ashram Deposit is one of the largest rare earth element (“REE”) deposits in the world, and monazite is its primary rare earth mineral resulting in a strong NdPr oxide distribution (% of Nd+Pr oxide of the total REO).
Drill hole intersection highlights from the 2022 program include:
• 392.8 m at 2.12% rare earth oxide (“REO”) (21.6% NdPr) (starting from surface) including,
o 34.5 m at 2.50% REO (20.2% NdPr) (EC22-197)
• 379.1 m at 2.04% REO (21.4% NdPr) (starting from surface) (EC22-199)
• 406.4 m at 1.99% REO (21.3% NdPr) (starting from surface) including,
o 36.0 m at 1.56% REO (24.0% NdPr) (EC22-198A)
• 278.2 m at 1.80% REO (22.2% NdPr), (starting from surface) including,
o 13.8 m at 1.54% REO (26.9% NdPr) and 11.1 m at 1.40% REO (33.3% NdPr) (EC22-200)
The July through September 2022 program included twelve (12) drill holes totaling 2,778.6 m at the Ashram Deposit – EC22-194 to 200, and 204 to 207. The program was completed in support of the Ashram Project’s advancing Prefeasibility Study (“PFS”), with the primary objective of resource/pit infill to improve resource confidence from the inferred/indicated categories to the indicated/measured categories within the planned open-pit shell (focus of six holes – EC22-196, 197, 198, 198A, 199, and 200).
These resource/pit infill holes returned grades of REO and NdPr distributions consistent with previous drilling, starting from surface and remaining mineralized over their entire length (i.e., ended in mineralization a short distance past the base of the pit shell). Highlights include 392.8 m at 2.12% REO (21.6% NdPr) (EC22-197), 379.1 m at 2.04% REO (21.4% NdPr) (EC22-199), and 406.4 m at 1.99% REO (21.3% NdPr) (EC22-198A). Additionally, several wide intervals with ≥24% NdPr distribution were returned including 36.0 m at 1.56% REO (24.0% NdPr) (EC22-198A), 32.6 m at 1.34% REO (25.8% NdPr) (EC22-196), as well as 13.8 m at 1.54% REO (26.9% NdPr) and 11.1 m at 1.40% REO (33.3% NdPr) (EC22-200) (Figure 1).
The 2022 drill hole plan was developed to target a revised pit shell which could accommodate a production scenario approximately 50% larger than that which was considered in the Project’s 2012 Preliminary Economic Assessment. This larger pit shell is anticipated to underpin an initial mineral reserve estimate upon completion of the Prefeasibility Study for the Project. All six (6) infill drill holes were collared along the perimeter of the deposit pit shell design and targeted specific regions of the pit at depth.
Secondary objectives included improving the confidence of the geological model at the southern end of the deposit where mineralization remains open (EC22-194, 195, 204, 205, 206, and 207). These holes were successful at confirming several primary geological contacts as well as returning several moderate to well-mineralized intervals including 180.1 m at 1.59% REO (21.5% NdPr) (EC22-207) and 25.5 m at 1.82% REO (20.8% NdPr) (EC22-194). As announced September 8th, 2022, in this area, drill hole EC22-195 extended the Ashram Deposit southerly by approximately 100 m with a wide intersection of lower-grade A-Zone (79.4 m at 1.47% REO (22.6% NdPr)). Geochemical analysis of logged A-Zone in drill hole 205 have now extended mineralization an additional ~90 m southerly with intersections of relatively small intervals of lower-grade A-Zone including 6.9 m at 1.01% REO (23.0% NdPr) (EC22-205). These REO grades and intersections are lower than that of the main deposit and, coupled with adjacent lithologies, indicate the southerly contact of the Ashram Deposit is proximal.
The Ashram Deposit ranks as one of the largest REE (and fluorspar) deposits globally, consisting of a monazite dominated (i.e., strong NdPr), single mineralized body outcropping at surface, and through the 2022 have drill delineated footprint of over 700 m along strike, 300 m across, and 600 m deep, and remains open at depth.
Core sample assay results for all twelve (12) drill holes completed in 2022 at the Ashram Deposit are presented in Table 1, and drill hole highlights and locations presented in Figure 1.
Table 1: Core assay result summary for drill holes completed at the Ashram Deposit in 2022
Figure 1: 2022 drill assay highlights – Ashram Deposit
Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QAQC)
A quality assurance / quality control protocol following industry best practices was incorporated into the program and included systematic insertion of quartz blanks and certified reference materials into sample batches, as well as collection of quarter-core duplicates, at a rate of approximately 5%. Drill holes were sampled from top to bottom and shipped to Activation Laboratories in Ancaster, ON, for analysis.
Lab analysis included major oxides and multi-element, including the rare earth elements, by ICP-OES/MS following a lithium borate fusion (package 8-REE) and fluorine by Fusion Specific Ion Electrode-ISE (Code 4F-F). Standard drill core sample preparation was completed and comprised of crushing to 80% passing 10 mesh, followed by a 250 g riffle split and pulverizing to 95% passing 105 μ (package RX1).
The Company also announces that it has granted an aggregate of 4,600,000 stock options (each, an “Option”) to certain directors, officers, employees, and consultants of the Company for the purchase of up to 4,600,000 common shares of the Company pursuant to its Stock Option Plan. Each Option is exercisable for a period of two (2) years at a price of $0.185 per common share. Of these Options, 400,000 are being granted to persons providing investor relations services to the Company and, pursuant to the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange, must vest over 12 months from the issuance date, with 25% vesting in each three (3) month period after the grant of the Options.
About the Ashram Deposit
The Ashram Deposit ranks as one of the largest REE (and fluorspar) deposits globally, consisting of a monazite dominated (i.e., strong NdPr), single mineralized body outcropping at surface, and has a drill delineated footprint of over 700 m along strike, 300 m across, and 600 m deep, and remains open at depth. The deposit hosts a measured resource of 1.6 million tonnes (Mt) at 1.77% rare earth oxide (REO) and 3.8% F, an indicated resource of 27.7 Mt at 1.90% REO and 2.9% F, and an inferred resource of 219.8 Mt at 1.88% REO and 2.2% F, at a cut-off grade of 1.25% REO (Effective Date July 5th, 2012). Note, mineral resources are not mineral reserves as they do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that all or any part of the Mineral Resources will be converted into Mineral Reserves.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors
COMMERCE RESOURCES CORP.
President and Director