Contractors Signed For Quebec Project Studies
Commerce Resources Corp. (TSXV:CCE) has engaged several specialized engineering firms to advance the remaining key components of the PFS through to completion for studies into the development of the Ashram Rare Earth and Fluorspar deposit in Quebec.
The company has retained DRA Americas Inc. and L3 Process Development for review and assessment of the Ashram Deposit’s flowsheet. The selection maintains the direct involvement of several key metallurgical Qualified Persons (QPs) who have a strong familiarity with the specifics of the flowsheet through past work programmes.
In addition to rare earth elements (REEs), the company also expects to recover a fluorspar by-product (met-spar and acid-spar) from the tailings of the primary REE recovery circuit. The recovery of fluorspar was not incorporated into the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the Project, completed in 2012; however, it is now anticipated to provide a significant secondary revenue stream in the PFS. Further, as the fluorspar concentrate would be produced from the tailings of the REE concentrate, the Company would be generating value from its tailings (i.e. typically waste), and therefore incorporating a circular economy component to the project.
The company has also engaged the engineering firm CIMA+ to evaluate sites and design the marine infrastructure component for the PFS. CIMA+ has extensive experience in Quebec’s north and its operating conditions, having designed and constructed the marine facilities for several northern Inuit communities between 2005 and 2012.
Specifically, CIMA+ designed and built the marine facility on the Koksoak River for the community of Kuujjuaq, the nearest community to the deposit. The Company is evaluating sites along the Koksoak River for a small marine facility to enable the shipping of materials and concentrate to and from the proposed mine-site, respectively.
The engineering firm BBA has been engaged to complete the remaining environmental studies for the PFS and will include several key individuals involved with previous data collection and analysis.
The work will encompass the review of existing datasets as well as regulatory guidance to ensure the company has sufficient data to satisfy the PFS requirements. The overarching objective is to prepare the Project for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) that will follow, which will outline potential impacts of the Project once in operation, as well as corresponding mitigation measures.
BBA has also been engaged as the “Banner” engineering firm for the PFS, which includes Project scheduling, tailings management and design, financial analysis, and oversight to ensure no gaps exists in the dataset required to satisfy PFS level. BBA has significant experience in PFS project management and are also widely recognised as having leading environmental and tailing management teams.
To date, the Prefeasibility work completed for the Ashram Project and led to significant advancements compared to the Preliminary Economic Assessment – shorter haul road, higher mineral concentrate grades (>40% rare earth oxide), fluorspar concentrate recovery, reduced tailings footprint, etc.
As the Project continues to be de-risked and optimised, 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.