Commerce Resources Corp. (TSXV: CCE | OTCQX: CMRZF) has formed a new metallurgical collaboration with CanmetMINING focused on beneficiation testwork for the Ashram Rare Earth and Fluorspar Deposit.
The primary focus for the test programme will be to optimise and enhance the development of the Ashram Project’s base flowsheet, which is currently in the final stages of Prefeasibility design at Hazen Research in Golden, Colorado.
Federal R&D assistance is provided through a collaboration agreement with CanmetMINING, under their Critical Minerals Research, Development and Demonstration program.
This programme targets research and development for upstream critical minerals processing and aims to stimulate the development of battery and permanent magnet value chains in Canada.
The test work is anticipated to include comparative grinding testing, flotation (dosage optimisation, reagent conditioning, varying equipment technologies), magnetic separation, ore sorting, and dense medium separation (DMS).
CanmetMINING scientists are working closely with the company and Ashram’s Qualified Person for mineral processing to design a comprehensive and optimal testing approach that builds on previous work that has produced high-grade rare earth mineral concentrates comparable to major global producers.
The overarching objective of the funding and collaboration is to facilitate and support advancement of the Ashram Project towards production in a complementary manner to the company’s ongoing efforts.
In January 2022, a total of 1.9 tonnes of mineralized Ashram Deposit bulk sample material was shipped to SGS Canada’s Lakefield facility in Ontario for crushing and sizing ahead of test work. The material preparation has now been completed and the initial test programmes at CanmetMINING have begun.
CanmetMINING, a science and technology branch of the Lands and Metals sector of Natural Resources Canada, is a world-class leader in the development and deployment of green mining innovation technologies. Much of its research is undertaken in partnership with industry, provincial governments, other federal departments, universities and international agencies.
CanmetMINING’s $47.7M Critical Minerals RD&D Programme was funded through the Federal Budget 2021 to develop domestic critical raw materials value chains, and position Canada as a global supplier of choice for critical mineral products. R&D is focused on three key priority research areas: battery minerals, the Mining Value from Waste Programme (MVfW), and rare earth elements and other critical minerals. This collaboration with Commerce under the REE and other critical minerals area seeks to advance the production of permanent magnet raw materials in Canada.
About the Ashram Deposit
The Ashram Deposit ranks as one of the largest REE (and fluorspar) deposits globally, consisting of a monazite dominated, single mineralised body outcropping at surface, and has a footprint approximately 600 m along strike, over 300 m across, and 600 m deep, remaining open in several directions.
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.
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